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For much of her life, Janine Marshall Wood, a former English, History and French teacher, has been gripped by the remarkable story of John Hughes, his leadership in the Rebecca Riots, his convict years and life afterwards in Tasmania. She has retold this tale countless times to audiences of all ages throughout Australia – sometimes even in French.
The Rebecca Riots (1839–1844), a protest movement that galvanised and amused much of the Western world, was known for its audaciousness and humour. Their aim was to alleviate the hardship of unfair tollgate charges in rural Wales. One of its leaders (or Rebeccas) was John Hughes (Jac Ty-isha), who is the subject of Janine’s recent book No ordinary convict: a Welshman called Rebecca.
No Ordinary Convict: a Welshman called Rebecca addresses the context from which this extraordinary movement arose and then traces John Hughes’ background, arrest, trial, petitions for freedom and voyage to Van Diemen’s Land. Simultaneously, and throughout the entire book, there are comparisons and contrasts between other Rebeccaites and the entire convict population.
Copies of No ordinary convict: a Welshman called Rebecca will be available for sale.
Presented by Yarra Plenty Regional Library Information and bookings
Eltham Library, Panther Place, Eltham, Vic.
Wednesday 17 August, 2022