Truganini – Cassandra Pybus

What a book! And Truganini, what a woman!

I bought this book in 2020 and got distracted by Covid. I picked it up again recently as background reading for my own writing.
When I was studying Tasmanian Aboriginal history at UTas decades ago, Cassandra Pybus was a bit of a legend. So tonight I emailed her a gushing thank you for this book. Fangirling!

If you want to understand the complexities of this amazing woman, Tasmanian history, and even the founding of Melbourne (John Batman was a psychopath!), this is for you!

 

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$26.25

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Description

Cassandra Pybus’s ancestors told a story of an old Aboriginal woman who would wander across their farm on Bruny Island, in south-east Tasmania, in the 1850s and 1860s. As a child, Cassandra didn’t know this woman was Truganini, and that Truganini was walking over the country of her clan, the Nuenonne.

For nearly seven decades, Truganini lived through a psychological and cultural shift more extreme than we can imagine. But her life was much more than a regrettable tragedy. Now Cassandra has examined the original eyewitness accounts to write Truganini’s extraordinary story in full.

Hardly more than a child, Truganini managed to survive the devastation of the 1820s, when the clans of south-eastern Tasmania were all but extinguished. She spent five years on a journey around Tasmania, across rugged highlands and through barely penetrable forests, with George Augustus Robinson, the self-styled missionary who was collecting the survivors to send them into exile on Flinders Island. She has become an international icon for a monumental tragedy – the so-called extinction of the original people of Tasmania.

Truganini’s story is inspiring and haunting – a journey through the apocalypse.