Clements, Nicholas: Black War in Tasmania

Clements, Nicholas

The Black War: Fear, Sex and Resistance in Tasmania, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 2014

Between 1825 and 1831 close to 200 Britons and 1000 Aborigines died violently in Tasmania’s Black War. It was by far the most intense frontier conflict in Australia’s history, yet many Australians know little about it. The Black War takes a unique approach to this historic event, looking chiefly at the experiences and attitudes of those who took part in the conflict. By contrasting the perspectives of colonists and Aborigines, Nicholas Clements takes a deeply human look at the events that led to the shocking violence and tragedy of the war, detailing raw personal accounts that shed light on the tribes, families and individuals involved as they struggled to survive in their turbulent world. (blurb)

The above link includes a ‘sampler’ of the book. The author writes about the book and talks about it. And again. The book is reviewed by Lyndall Ryan, Paul Daley, Anna Clark and Rosemary Neill. In his foreword to the book, Henry Reynolds describes it as ‘remarkably even-handed’. Ryan’s review puts the book in the context of the ‘history wars’. She notes that Clements discerns two triggers for violence, white settlers pursuing Indigenous women for sex and Indigenous warriors raiding sheep flocks.,

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