The Ship That Never Was

The Ship That Never Was 1

The Greatest Escape Story Of Australian Colonial History

by Adam Courtenay

Paperback Publication Date: 21/05/2018

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The greatest escape story of Australian colonial history by the son of Australia’s best-loved storyteller

In 1823, cockney sailor and chancer James Porter was convicted of stealing a stack of beaver furs and transported halfway around the world to Van Diemen's Land. After several escape attempts from the notorious penal colony, Porter, who told authorities he was a 'beer-machine maker', was sent to Sarah Island, known in Van Diemen's Land as hell on earth.

Many had tried to escape Sarah Island; few had succeeded. But when Governor George Arthur announced that the place would be closed and its prisoners moved to the new penal station of Port Arthur, Porter, along with a motley crew of other prisoners, pulled off an audacious escape. Wresting control of the ship they'd been building to transport them to their fresh hell, the escapees instead sailed all the way to Chile. What happened next is stranger than fiction, a fitting outcome for this true-life picaresque tale.

The Ship That Never Was is the entertaining and rollicking story of what is surely the greatest escape in Australian colonial history. James Porter, whose memoirs were the inspiration for Marcus Clarke's For the Term of his Natural Life, is an original Australian larrikin whose ingenuity, gift of the gab and refusal to buckle under authority make him an irresistible anti-hero who deserves a place in our history.

ISBN:
9780733338571
9780733338571
Category:
History
Format:
Paperback
Publication Date:
21-05-2018
Publisher:
ABC Books
Country of origin:
Australia
Pages:
336
Dimensions (mm):
210x153x26mm
Weight:
0.41kg

Adam Courtenay

The son of Australia's best-loved storyteller, Adam Courtenay is a Sydney-based writer and journalist. He has had a long career in the UK and Australia, writing for papers such as the Financial Times, the Sunday Times, the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review.

Adam has a love of Australia history and Australian stories and has written five books, including The Ship That Never Was and The Ghost and the Bounty Hunter.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

4 / 5 (1 Ratings)
  • The Ship that Never Was

    by on

    For anyone interested in Australian history, and particularly Tasmanian history, this is a gem. Very well researched and written in an easy to read format of short chapters. If you have the time, you will not want to put it down, but if you finish it too soon you will feel bereft. It loses some interest when it moves to Chile but then picks up again before the closing chapters, give it a try.