Acclaimed historical writer Kev Richardson, continues his personal introduction to Australia’s famed Letitia Munro, her eleven children, and their extensive families during their convict beginnings in Van Diemen’s Land. In her strength and foresight Titia wondered, “Does it really matter that we all came as convict stock?” ... but to some of them, it did.
Kev Richardson has a way of introducing the reader to each of Letitia Munro’s family members, making the history in the late 1700s and early 1800s come alive.
Eventually the names of England’s uncompromising penal colonies in “New South Wales”... and “Van Diemen’s Land” were changed in an effort to hide the social guilt of inhumane suffering, starvation, deliberate brutalities, and unpardonable cruelties dealt against the prisoners, whose misdeeds were often only ‘crimes of desperation,’ simply to survive the hard times. However, it was these beginning years that established the convicts’ loyal code against their captors, formulating the heritage of ‘bonded relationships’ of today’s population.
Men were paired with eleven- and twelve-year-old girls, to populate this new land under devastating conditions, often being uprooted and moved to new locations when England was at war with the French. Because owning property became a step toward respectability, many convicts became docile in order to receive these granted farm lands. Even then, they fought to make ends meet. They struggled to grow crops, and raise stock... hogs and sheep, while surviving draught, range fires, taxes, bigotry, and illiteracy.
Still others were continually in trouble with the law because they couldn’t give up their scallywag ways. Adam Newitt, a cobbler by trade, was such a man. So, throughout the years, each generation faced its own hardships, yet was determined to be known as trustworthy and respectable.
I highly recommend Kev Richardson’s historical tales. He brings history to life.
Conger Book Reviews, USA
Following a career in business management at international level, Kev attained a degree in journalism to then sweat as far up the River Nile as one can get, canoe down the Amazon, flash countless rolls of film from atop the Eiffel Tower, the heights above Yosemite, the Victoria Falls et al, scream “Ole” at a Chihuahua bullfight, ride elephant trails in Thai jungles, wallow in the incredible history of Rapa Nui’s Maoi, and as convention almost demands, was mugged in Bogota. His articles on travel to exotic lands have featured in travel and airline magazines around the world.
Meanwhile, being a sixth generation descendant of Australia’s First Fleeters with an obsessive interest in Australia’s founding history, he was concerned over the generations of suppression in the education of Australians, on clouding the truth in what really happened. Years of fact-finding with the help of other dedicated researchers revealed all and Kev vowed to set the history books aright by bringing the brutal truths of convictism to light. He is well qualified to do so for as a student of First Fleet history he has presented his subject on many occasions in press, radio and television interviews. He is a Past President of ‘The First Fleet Fellowship’ and a Past Secretary of ‘The Descendants of Convicts Inc.’. During Australia’s 1988 Bicentenary he officiated in Founding celebrations in Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart and Norfolk Island and for his work during that Bicentenary, was created Honorary Life Member of ‘The Regiment of Redcoat Descendants’.
Kev now devotes his life to writing on not only his country’s convict history, but general fiction with an Australian flavour. He recognises the growing trend towards digital reading so follows the world’s top authors in publishing his works both as traditional paperbacks and eBooks.
His Gurrewa and Brogan series released by Wings ePress are followed by Letitia Munro in October 2008, To Plough Van Diemen’s Land in June 2009 and The Terrible Truths in December 2009, the last three being more works on his country’s convict beginnings. Short synopses of all can be read on www.kev-richardson.com. And more works are in the pipeline.
These days Kev travels less, having retired from his Gold Coast home, left his grown family and friends to write from experiences and adventures during his exciting travels, happily ensconced in the foothills of the Golden Triangle in amazing Thailand’s exotic north.