Dan Byrnes is a poet/writer/historian from Australia who has a deep interest in Australian history post-1788. But all sorts of other things from the present, from the world of books, from his other websites, are going to turn up on this blog, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. You can also find Dan Byrnes on his own domain at: http://www.danbyrnes.com.au.
Dan Byrnes is getting older (in 2019 he turns 71) and is now compiling and recompiling all his literary work: poetry, websites, short stories, sundry history. As a student of convict transportation from England, 1718-1868, he wonders, deep in Australian modern history (since 1788), why Australians are so reluctant to delve into questions (1786-1868) of: who owned the convict ships? It just doesn’t seem rational, and it probably isn’t rational. What on earth are these Australians afraid of? Australian history books written in the 1930s might have listed some convict ships (Oldham’s thesis did in 1933, and got one at least shipowner wrong). In 1988, Robert Hughes’ book, The Fatal Shore, incorrectly stated that the First Fleet contractor was Duncan Campbell (1726-1803) when it was actually William Richards – and his error was ignored by Australian university historians. Why? Why would university historians allow errors to be perpetuated?
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