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The History of Tasmania , Volume II   By: (1809-1873)

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John West's Volume II of The History of Tasmania is a comprehensive and enlightening exploration of Tasmania's past. West skillfully delves into the intricate details, shedding light on a tumultuous period of Tasmania's history that is often overlooked.

The book captivates the reader from the very beginning, offering a detailed account of Tasmania's early colonial years and shedding light on the indigenous inhabitants, their culture, and their unfortunate encounters with European settlers. West's research is meticulous, providing readers with a wealth of historical information that serves as a valuable resource for anyone interested in the subject matter.

One of the book's strengths lies in its ability to bring to life the struggles and triumphs of the individuals who shaped Tasmania's development. From explorers to government officials, pioneers to convicts, West's narrative allows readers to connect with these historical figures on a personal level, deepening our understanding of their motivations and actions. Through his vivid descriptions and meticulous research, West effectively transports readers back in time, immersing them in the complex dynamics of Tasmania's past.

What makes Volume II of The History of Tasmania particularly noteworthy is West's unbiased and objective approach. Rather than sugarcoating or overlooking the less favorable aspects of Tasmania's history, he confronts them head-on. From the devastating impact of colonization on the indigenous population to the harsh realities of the convict system, West provides an honest portrayal of the hardships faced by all those involved. This balanced perspective allows readers to form their own opinions and gain a more nuanced understanding of Tasmania's complex history.

Furthermore, West's writing style is engaging and accessible, making this dense historical account surprisingly easy to read. The narrative flows smoothly, and the inclusion of primary sources and personal anecdotes adds depth and authenticity to the overall story. Despite the depth of the subject matter, readers of all backgrounds and levels of familiarity with Tasmania's history will find themselves engrossed in West's storytelling.

Although The History of Tasmania, Volume II is undoubtedly an impressive work, it does have its shortcomings. In certain sections, the sheer volume of information presented can be overwhelming, making it challenging for readers to retain all the details. Additionally, at times, the book may assume a level of prior knowledge that not all readers possess. However, these minor caveats do not detract significantly from the overall quality of the book.

In conclusion, John West's Volume II of The History of Tasmania is an invaluable addition to the field of Tasmanian history. His meticulous research, balanced perspective, and engaging writing style come together to offer readers a fascinating exploration of this often forgotten part of the world. Whether a history enthusiast or an avid reader seeking a captivating narrative, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in Tasmania's rich and complex past.

First Page:





Minister of St. John Square Chapel, Launceston.


Tasmania: Henry Dowling, Launceston. 1852.

Tasmania: Printed By J. S. Waddell, Launceston

Facsimile edition 1966



SECTION I. p. 1.

Tasman's account of the natives Cook's Labillardière's Flinders'.


Conflict at Risdon cruelty to natives tribe visits Hobart Town child stealing.


Causes of conflict Musquito execution of blacks unavailing attempts to civilise ill treatment by bushrangers cruelty to the women effects of civilization the food destroyed abduction of the women natives not naturally cruel.

SECTION IV. p. 26.

Proclamation against them forbidden to enter the colony martial law proclaimed captures escape efforts of Mr. Batman commandoes.

SECTION V. p. 32.

Murders committed by natives instances of female courage odd expedients difficulty of capture humane efforts of Arthur list of atrocities.

SECTION VI. p. 44.

Conciliation proposed by Mr. Robinson project to drive them into Tasman's Peninsula forces assembled line of posts fixed great preparations martial law proclaimed advance line crossed by natives Walpole's party white man traced plan unsuccessful... Continue reading book >>

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