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Title: Deborah Oxley's 'Female Convicts': An Alternative View of Working-Class Women
Contributor(s): Kent, David  (author); Townsend, Norma (author)
Publication Date: 1993
DOI: 10.2307/27509204
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Abstract: One of the most important books on early colonial history to appear in recent years is 'Convict Workers: Reinterpreting Australia's Past'. As the first major and extended reexamination of the convict system as a whole since the pioneering work of L.L.Robson and A.G.L.Shaw in the 1960s it claims that special significance accorded to revisionist works which enlarge understanding and provoke debate. At the outset its iconoclasm is proclaimed. According to the editor, "By overturning traditional views, revisionist history offers new and radically different ways of understanding the past". 'Convict Workers' is unquestionably an important contribution to Australian convict historiography. Its publication was opportune. It came when more than ever before Australia's convict past was being discussed and accepted on a popular level. Family history was burgeoning and many of its practitioners discovered convict ancestors whom they ennobled as injured innocents and as the true pioneers. In that climate 'Convict Workers' was welcomed for its breadth and revisionism although some reviews and later comment raised doubts about the claims made by its editors and authors and about some of the methods and assumptions they employed.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Labour History (65), p. 179-191
Publisher: Australian Society for the Study of Labour History
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 0023-6942
Field of Research (FOR): 210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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