For the first time since her hugely popular bestseller THE THORN BIRDS captivated millions of readers, Colleen McCullough returns to Australia with a breathtaking new historical saga. It was one of the greatest human experiments ever undertaken- to populate an unknown land with the criminal, the unloved and the unwanted of English society. Amid conditions of brutality that paralleled that of slavery, 'The First Fleet' was sent to a place no European but the legendary Captain Cook had ever seen. Left to live or die on the hostile Australian continent, these convicts and their equally isolated guards occupy the centre of McCullough's riveting new epic. Richard Morgan convicted felon and educated, intelligent, resourceful man finds the will to survive, experience the joys of love, and finally make an indelible mark upon the new frontier.
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Take a long voyage deep into the 18th century with Colleen McCullough, a novelist for readers with a big appetite for historical slices of life. In Morgan's Run, her mild-mannered hero is a Bristol tavern owner's son with a God-given gift for crafting the Brown Bess flintlock musket. This is handy, because England plans to employ it to put down the mutinous American colonies. McCullough knows this firearm right down to the last flange and frizzen spring--how its .753-inch ball shatters bones and butchers bellies and how you have to work up a mouthful of spit, then bite the paper containing the powder to moisten and rupture it before firing. And like a master gunsmith, McCullough assembles all the elements necessary to give the novel flash and impact: rogues and heroes, salty dialect, period detail, vicious intrigue, comic relief, betrayal, and unexpected romance.
She also knows just how her master of the crafts of tavern-keeping and musket-making would fit into the vast mechanism of history as the American victory wrecks Britain's economy and forces the crown to send convicts elsewhere. Richard gets a job with a rum distillery, but his sharp-eyed efficiency undoes him: one day he finds "a number of pipes hidden among festoons of spider-web," one of which is diverting 800 gallons a week to dodge taxes, a hanging offense. He unwisely reports this, which lands him in a net of corruption. Soon he is sentenced to various convict ships anchored in England, and then to a slave ship bound for Botany Bay in the new penal colony, Australia. But save your pity! Richard rises to the terrible occasion. "Prison had given him a star to steer by, and his own will had swelled sails he did not even know he possessed."
Though McCullough doesn't quite reach the literary heights of Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander or Robert Hughes's The Fatal Shore, she shares some of their virtues. Morgan's Run is a good old-fashioned adventure novel with the unflagging energy and raffish cast of an action movie. She considered calling it Morgan's Dirty Dozen, and it would have lived up to that title, too. --Tim AppeloAbout the Author:
Colleen McCullough was born in Australia. A neuropathologist, she established the department of neurophysiology at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney before working as a researcher and teacher at Yale Medical School for ten years. Her writing career began with the publication of Tim, followed by The Thorn Birds, a record-breaking international bestseller. She lives on Norfolk Island in the South Pacific with her husband, Ric Robinson.
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Book Description Century, 2000. hardcover. Book Condition: New. First edition, first printing, mint, new/unread in a flawless dust jacket, review copy. 2000 NY: Century. Bookseller Inventory # MCCMORG11R
Book Description Century, 2002. paperback. Book Condition: New. Advance reading copy, mint, new/unread in flawless pictorial wrappers. 2002 NY: Century. Bookseller Inventory # MCCMORG16
Book Description Century, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110712680462
Book Description Century, London, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. Bookseller Inventory # 019125
Book Description Century, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0712680462
Book Description Century. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0712680462 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0277466