A biography of a man whose contribution to literature, civil rights, and the Irish republican cause has largely gone unsung. Author/journalist Evans recounts his adventures including his Fenian activities in Ireland, escape from a convict working party in Western Australia, and Boston career as a ne
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A.G. Evans, a former broadcaster, is currently a freelance writer. He is the author of a biography of Monsignor John Hawes, The Conscious Stone, which received the Western Australia Week Literary Award for Nonfiction. He lives in Australia.From Kirkus Reviews:
A workmanlike, highly readable, if somewhat old-fashioned biography of Irish-born poet John Boyle OReilly, whose adventurous life included armed rebellion against British rule in Ireland, penal servitude in Australia, a daring escape from captivity, and eventual success in the US as the leading voice for Irish-Americans. Australian biographer Evans grew up hearing tales of John Boyle OReilly, whose successful escape from Australias penal colony in 1869 made him an instant folk hero. Not surprisingly, Evans spends most of the book describing OReillys arduous two-year experience as a political prisoner in Australia and how he arrived there. OReilly was born in County Meath, Ireland; as a teenager, he became a soldier in the British army. While stationed in Dublin, OReilly secretly joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood (or Fenians), a covert organization dedicated to the violent overthrow of British authority in Ireland. Just as OReilly and his Fenian conspirators were about to mount an armed uprising, an informer within their ranks notified British officials. OReilly was arrested, convicted and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, and transported to Australia. Evans meticulously describes OReillys long voyage down under, his life on a chain gang building roads in the murderous heat, and his literary endeavors. OReilly was a minor poet of the patriotic, sentimental Victorian sort, and even Evans, who clearly admires his subject, admits that OReilly never wrote a masterpiece, either in prose or poetry. Evans is a fine storyteller who relishes heroic adventure and the picaresque anecdote; like a 19th-century novelist, he moves the narrative along at a brisk pace. His account of OReillys breathtaking escape is masterfully done. After his escape, OReilly fled to Boston, where he became owner of the Boston Pilot, the most popular Catholic newspaper in the US. While Evans fails at making the case for OReillys literary genius, he succeeds in giving his readers an exciting story that reads like a fast-paced page-turner of a novel. (illustrations, not seen) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description 1997. (Nedlands), Univ. of W.A. Press, (1997). Boards, fine in d/w, endpaper map, colour and b&w illust., pp. xv, 280. ISBN 1 875560 82 3. Comprehensive biography of a man whose contribution to literature, civil rights and the Irish republican cause has gone largely unsung. Bookseller Inventory # 95618
Book Description Book Condition: Good. Fanatic Heart - A Life of John Boyle O'Reilly 1844-1890. Bookseller Inventory # Amz4984441
Book Description Nedlands, University of Western Australia Press, Nedlands, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. 1st Edition. [xvi], 280p. Original green boards with gilt lettering, black and white illustrations. Irish-born O'Reilly was convicted for political conspiracy in England and sentenced for 20 years. After spending a number of years in English jails he was transported when 23 to Western Australia in 1868 on the last convict ship sent to Australia. Approximately two years later, he escaped and fled to America on a whaling ship. In Boston he became a prominent literary figure. Many of his poems contain references to Australia. He is one of the early poets associated with Western Australia. A superb copy of the scarce first hardbound printing with both the book and dustwrapper in pristine order. Bookseller Inventory # 4059S
Book Description University of Western Australia Press, 1997. Hardcover in Dustjacket. Book Condition: Fine. First Edition. Signed by Author (inscription). pp.xv, 280 Scarce hardcover.For his part in the Fenian conspiracy, O'Reilly was sentenced to twenty years' penal servitude. It appears he was originally sentenced to death but his sentence was commuted to 20 years. He served nearly two years in English prisons before being put aboard the convict ship Hougoumont for transportation to the British colony of Western Australia. Midway through the voyage, O'Reilly and another prisoner John Flood, established a handwritten newspaper called The Wild Goose which contained poetry, stories and anecdotes from members of the ship's convict fraternity. Seven editions were produced, and the single copy of the original set survives and is held in the State Library of New South Wales collection. The Hougoumont's passage was the last convict ship transport to Western Australia. pp.xvi, 280 #0817X (In display cabinet, Elizabeth's Bookshop Warehouse, 23 Queen Victoria St Fremantle.) ( Please note: Over standard weight. Orders via ABE Books may incur additional postage charges. We will contact you prior to processing order to request your approval. ). Bookseller Inventory # 10619