Read For the Term of His Natural Life by Marcus Clarke Free Online
Book Title: For the Term of His Natural Life|
The author of the book: Marcus Clarke
ISBN 13: 9781406512038
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 488 KB
Edition: Dodo Press
Date of issue: December 1st 2006
Read full description of the books For the Term of His Natural Life:“We convicts have the advantage over you gentlemen. You are afraid of death; we pray for it. It is the best thing that can happen to us. Die! They were going to hang me once. I wish they had. My God, I wish they had!”
For The Term Of His Natural Life is the best-known novel by Australian author, Marcus Clarke. It was first published in 1874, although it began as a serialised novel titled His Natural Life, published in the Australian Journal. Text Publishing have produced a handsome volume under their Text Classics banner.
There are significant differences in the plot between the original (unabridged) edition and later editions of this novel; the first book has been reduced to a prologue; the text has been condensed into a much more readable form, and much of the (frankly, boring and often unimportant) detail has been omitted; and the ending is completely different. Thus, for example, in excess of 150 pages of book 2 of the original edition are reduced to a much more manageable 75 pages in this edition.
Clarke managed to pack a lot into his novel: perhaps as it began in serialised form, each episode needed some drama: a parental estrangement, a very rich will, a secret identity, a wrongful conviction, transport on a convict ship, a mutiny, another wrongful conviction, flogging, suicide attempts, multiple escape attempts (at least one involving cannibalism), another mutiny, abandonment on a deserted shore, the construction of a coracle, yet another wrongful conviction, many years of penal servitude, the claiming of an inheritance by an imposter, quite a few confessions and a shipwreck.
This novel has been described as the Australian Count of Monte Cristo and while it is considered an Australian Classic, as historical fiction, it is not really up to the standard of Dumas’s writing. The most exciting chapters, by far, are those detailing the escape from Port of Arthur of convict, John Rex. It is filled with improbable coincidences, and while he draws on many real occurrences in Tasmania’s history, Clarke’s emphasis is on the cruelty of convict life. Rufus Dawes is one very unlucky man!
This book will appeal to those who enjoy Australian historical fiction written from the closer perspective of fifty years as opposed to almost one hundred and fifty. A map of the relevant parts would have been helpful, but Wikipedia serves equally, these days. Text Classics include an introduction by author, Rohan Wilson and an evocative cover by the talented WH Chong. A beautiful edition of an Aussie Classic.
Read information about the authorMarcus Andrew Hislop Clarke, known as Marcus Clarke, was born in Kensington, London. His mother died when he was just a small child and he was raised by his father, a lawyer.
Marcus Clarke moved to Victoria, Australia, where he had an uncle in the provincial town of Ararat, and landed in Melbourne in June 1863. In 1869 Clarke married the actress Marian Dunn and shortly afterwards they started to raise a family of six children. He died of pleurisy at the age of thirty-five.
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