‘Convicted’ by Peter Bradley

Peter Bradley, Convicted

Peter Bradley, ConvictedCanberra author Peter Bradley reimagines the lives of his three ancestors in a fascinating new history of colonial Australia, Convicted.

Peter Bradley first became engrossed in his family history five years ago, when he discovered his great-grandfather’s compelling first-hand account of surviving a shipwreck.

Now he has brought that story – and those of his two other ancestors – to life in Convicted, an engrossing and highly imaginative retelling of the story of a father, son and grandson, entwined with the history of Australia from the landing of the First Fleet in 1788.

‘My aim in writing this book was to intertwine the many well-known and not so well-known events in Australia’s early history with my family’s history and their exciting tales’, Bradley said.

The story starts with the life and times of his great-great-great grandfather James Bradley, a First Fleet convict found guilty of stealing a white linen handkerchief worth two shillings and sentenced to seven years transportation to Australia – where we encounter many other well-known historical figures, including Australia’s first brewer James Squire.

It then follows one of James Bradley’s sons, Joseph Bradley, who worked in the most dangerous occupation of the time – whaling. Despite his parents being uneducated and illiterate, Joseph went on to write a journal about his experiences, rich in history and insight.

The book concludes with the story of Joseph’s son, Roland Bradley, a man of unionism and politics. Like his father and grandfather, Roland took up the fight against the rich and powerful through his involvement with the early maritime union. In 1894, he wrote an account of surviving the shipwreck of the SS Kanahooka, which forced its inhabitants to wander the wilderness of North Queensland for 18 days.

About Peter Bradley: Peter Bradley is a passionate historian whose interest in family history began when he discovered his great-grandfather’s engrossing first-hand account of surviving a shipwreck. In 2013 he had the journal published, which sparked a determination to share his ancestor’s stories with the world.

For more information about the book, visit Peter’s website.

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