Frankenstein, Convicts, and Wide-Awake Geniuses: The Life and Death of Charles Brentani

Originally published as Douglas Wilkie, ‘Frankenstein, Convicts and Wide-Awake Geniuses: The life and death of Charles Brentani’, Victorian Historical Journal, Vol. 87, No. 1, June 2016 Extract: In 1838 Alexander Maconochie, private secretary to the Van Diemen’s Land Governor, Sir John Franklin, wrote a damning report on the state of prison discipline in the colony. … Continue reading Frankenstein, Convicts, and Wide-Awake Geniuses: The Life and Death of Charles Brentani

The Deconstruction of a Convict Past

Joseph Forrester, a silversmith, was transported to Van Diemen's Land in 1828 after being caught stealing diamonds from a West End London jeweller. Charles Brentani was transported to Van Diemen's Land in 1834 after being caught stealing silver from a Sheffield clergyman. Brentani was was assigned to various employers and eventually set up his own … Continue reading The Deconstruction of a Convict Past

1849 The Rush That Never Started: Forgotten origins of the 1851 gold rushes in Victoria

Many people have the impression that the Victorian gold rushes not only began in mid-1851, but also occurred in response to discoveries earlier in that year near Bathurst, west of Sydney. Not so! The Victorian gold rushes of 1851 were a direct consequence of a largely forgotten gold discovery two years earlier in the Pyrenees … Continue reading 1849 The Rush That Never Started: Forgotten origins of the 1851 gold rushes in Victoria