Rhondda Harris, ed.
Ashton’s Hotel: The Journal of William Baker Ashton, First Governor of the Adelaide Gaol, Wakefield Press, Adelaide, 2017
South Australia was meant to be the perfect colony: free settlers, no crime, and no mental illness. But good intentions go awry. Within three years plans for a permanent gaol were well established, along with a governor to oversee it: William Baker Ashton.
Researcher Rhondda Harris came upon Ashton’s long-lost journal by happy accident, and was soon absorbed by “The Governor’s” handwritten pages. They told a hidden story of early Adelaide and its underbelly, of crashes and crises and crims. “Ashton’s Hotel”, the colonists called their prison. His kindness of spirit, under nigh-impossible circumstances, shines through in this first published edition of his journal, expertly contextualised and introduced by Rhondda Harris. (blurb)