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Title: 'Bushranging' Legends from the Goldfield of Rocky River that still haunt Australia
Contributor(s): Ryan, John Sprott  (author)
Publication Date: 2010
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Abstract: This present essay is a briefer and selective comment on three legends from the complex, confusing and unevenly known and understood larger body of this same area's surviving and distinctive bushranger folklore, and, allegedly, its not so fictional related 'legends'. For these three stories are of great cultural significance, even as they are held in affection by and have persisting belief among both local people and Australians far beyond. These are all, it will be argued, of central concern to this country and so revelatory of its emerging and proud identity in the colonial period. In their main narrative motifs, they may be said to be about/variously associated with: the unhappy early life of - and so many injustices then inflicted on - the bush ranger, 'Captain Thunderbolt' (the alias of Fred Ward, 1835-1870); and his adult life - and its last phase of it; and with the greater significance of his actions, as well as those of his wife - all a form of critique of the government of the state and country at the end of his colorful career. The Thunderbolt material has also long been linked to the police presence on the field in the later boom days on the Rocky River Field, and more generally in the years immediately before the famed/notorious shooting in 1870.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Golden Words and A Golden Landscape, p. 151-170
Publisher: Arts New England, University of New England
Place of Publication: Armidale, Australia
ISBN: 9781921597206
Field of Research (FOR): 190302 Professional Writing
160303 Migration
200203 Consumption and Everyday Life
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 950304 Conserving Intangible Cultural Heritage
940403 Criminal Justice
940401 Civil Justice
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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