AustLit logo
Meg Keneally Meg Keneally i(8381273 works by) (a.k.a. Margaret Keneally)
Gender: Female
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

Works By

Preview all
1 y separately published work icon The Wreck Meg Keneally , Marylebone : Bonnier Zaffre , 2020 18881602 2020 single work novel historical fiction

'1820 Sarah McCaffrey, fleeing arrest for her part in a failed rebellion, thinks she has escaped when she finds herself aboard the Serpent, bound from London to the colony of New South Wales. But when the mercurial captain's actions drive the ship into a cliff, Sarah is the only survivor. Adopting a false identity, she becomes the right-hand woman of Molly Thistle, who has grown her late husband's business interests into a sprawling real estate and trade empire. As time passes, Sarah begins to believe she might have found a home - until her past follows her across the seas.'(Publication summary) 

1 Governor a Man of Contrasts Meg Keneally , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 4 January 2020; (p. 15)

— Review of Macquarie Grantlee Kieza , 2019 single work biography

;He stamped his name all over Sydney and was the first to use the word ­“Australia” in official documents. But, while we may think we know Lachlan Macquarie, many have only a partial sense of who the man was.' (Introduction)

1 The Man Trapped between Tribes Meg Keneally , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 19 October 2019; (p. 22)

— Review of Buckley's Chance Garry Linnell , 2019 single work biography

'It is widely believed the phrase “Buckley’s chance” refers to William Buckley, an escaped convict who staggered out of the bush in 1835, dressed in kangaroo and possum skins and carrying a spear and a club. He had survived for 30 years, having been taken in by the Wadawurrung ­people. At the time, the story of the Wild White Man gripped the public imagination.' (Introduction)

1 1 y separately published work icon The Ink Stain Thomas Keneally , Meg Keneally , North Sydney : Vintage Australia , 2019 15407753 2019 single work novel historical fiction

'Henry Hallward, editor of the Sydney Chronicle, has been imprisoned for criminal libel so often he can edit the newspaper from his cell.

'While awaiting trial during one of his imprisonments, Hallward boasts of a story that will destroy several powerful people. But before he can finish it he is killed, and Monsarrat and Mrs Mulrooney are sent to investigate.

'After Monsarrat meets with Colonel Duchamp, the governor’s right-hand man, it is clear the duo are on their own in solving this murder. And it seems there are many who had reason to wish Hallward dead. There is Gerald Mobbs, editor of the Chronicle’s rival newspaper. There is Duchamp’s sister, Henrietta, who can’t quite hide her cunning behind her ladylike exterior. And there is Albert Bancroft, an éminence grise whose property dealings seem to put him in an ideal position to have carried out the killing.

'Monsarrat and Mrs Mulrooney must sift through the suspects, unravel hidden agendas and navigate shifting loyalties, aware that at any moment Duchamp could ignominiously dismiss them, leaving Hallward’s murder unsolved and the independence of the colony’s press in grave jeopardy. And when a young boy is kidnapped, it becomes clear freedom of speech may not be the only casualty.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1 3 y separately published work icon Fled Meg Keneally , Melbourne : Echo Publishing , 2019 14974537 2019 single work novel historical fiction

'Based on the life of an incredible historical heroine, a harrowing journey in search of love, justice, and freedom, told by the daughter of best-selling author Thomas Keneally (Schindler's List)

'Tall and lanky, more suited to sailing and fishing than to keeping a house, Jenny Gwyn has proven herself a survivor. When she's caught stealing to support her impoverished family, the King's justice demands she be hung from the neck until dead. Instead, she and dozens of other prisoners are sent across the world to help settle England's newest colony in Australia.

'But the harsh landscape of Sydney Cove isn't welcoming to its new settlers, and Jenny is still a prisoner under the strict watch of Governor Edward Lockhart. After being contained on a filthy ship, selling her body for better rations, giving birth to two children, and fighting to better her position in the colony, Jenny refuses to succumb to the barren land unable to support the growing population. Determined to provide a better life for her children, she braves the sea, and a journey of over three thousand miles in a small rowboat, for a chance at a future worth fighting for.

'Based on the true story of Mary Bryant, an iconic figure in the foundation lore of Australia as Great Britain's penal colony, Fled is a sweeping, heart-wrenching account of one woman's life-long search for freedom.'  (Publication summary)

1 y separately published work icon The Power Game Meg Keneally , Thomas Keneally , Melbourne : Penguin , 2018 13196958 2018 single work novel historical fiction crime

'When a boatman is murdered on a remote island off Van Dieman’s Land, the authorities want to blame a famous, and very inconvenient, political prisoner. But the victim’s history of blackmail prompts Monsarrat to look further afield – and not everyone is happy . . .

'In this, the third in the Monsarrat series, Hugh Llewelyn Monsarrat and his trusty housekeeper, Mrs Mulrooney, are sent to remote Maria Island to solve the murder of Bart Harefield, the detested cutter skipper responsible for bringing supplies and correspondence to the island. Bart knows that knowledge is currency and he’s not shy about reading the letters he brings across …

'When Harefield is murdered with an axe, blame is laid at the feet of Thomas Power, the charismatic Irish revolutionary held in detention – with a lot of privileges – on Maria Island. Monsarrat and Mrs Mulrooney are told to solve the murder. They soon realise their real job is to tie Power neatly to the crime, so he can be hanged without inciting rebellion.

'But were there others who also had reason to want to shut Harefield up?' (Publication summary)

1 The Play's the Thing Meg Keneally , 2017 single work short story
— Appears in: Sherlock Holmes : The Australian Casebook 2017; (p. 1-19)
1 Australia Was Born Out of a Gulag. Not Much Has Changed Meg Keneally , 2017 single work
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 18 March 2017;
'When researching the Parramatta Female Factory I found parallels with our dehumanisation of vulnerable and maligned groups today'
1 y separately published work icon The Unmourned Thomas Keneally , Meg Keneally , Sydney : Vintage Australia , 2017 10691699 2017 single work novel crime historical fiction

'Not all murder victims are mourned, but the perpetrator must always be punished . . .

'For Robert Church, superintendent of the Parramatta Female Factory, the most enjoyable part of his job is access to young convict women. Inmate Grace O’Leary has made it her mission to protect the women from his nocturnal visits and when Church is murdered with an awl thrust through his right eye, she becomes the chief suspect.

'Recently arrived from Port Macquarie, ticket-of-leave gentleman convict Hugh Monsarrat now lives in Parramatta with his ever-loyal housekeeper Mrs Mulrooney. Monsarrat, as an unofficial advisor on criminal and legal matters to the governor’s secretary, is charged with uncovering the truth of Church’s murder. Mrs Mulrooney accompanies him to the Female Factory, where he is taking depositions from prisoners, including Grace, and there the housekeeper strikes up friendships with certain women, which prove most intriguing.

'Monsarrat and Mrs Mulrooney both believe that Grace is innocent, but in this they are alone, so to exonerate her they must find the murderer. Many hated Church and are relieved by his death, but who would go as far as killing him? ' (Publication summary)

1 7 y separately published work icon The Soldier's Curse Meg Keneally , Thomas Keneally , Sydney : Random House Australia , 2016 9055849 2016 single work novel historical fiction crime

'In a penal station for second offenders at the edge of the known world, gentleman convict Hugh Monsarrat hungers for a freedom he fears he may never again know. Originally transported for forging documents passing himself off as a lawyer, and later criminalised again for travelling outside the boundaries of his ticket of leave to visit his lover, he is now the trusted clerk of the settlement's Commandant.

'His position has certain advantages, such as being able to spend time in the Government House kitchen, being supplied with tea by housekeeper Hannah Mulrooney who, despite being illiterate, is one of the most intelligent people at Port Macquarie Penal Settlement. Her pet soldier Private Fergal Slattery, who is in charge of a convict crew hanging green wallpaper at Government House, is also among the kitchen's frequent visitors.

'With the Commandant away on an expedition, his beautiful young wife Honora falls ill, with a sickness the settlement doctor can't identify.

'When Honora dies, though, it becomes clear she has been slowly poisoned.

'Monsarrat and Mrs Mulrooney suspect the Commandant's second in command, Captain Michael Diamond, a cruel man who had been nursing an obsession with Honora.

'But then, Diamond has Mrs Mulrooney arrested for the murder. Knowing his friend will likely hang if she is tried, Monsarrat has to find a means to identify the real killer.

'Monsarrat is able to solve the crime and is granted a ticket of leave for his efforts, on the condition that he continue to work solving crimes for the crown. He knows he will be incapable of fulfilling his obligations without Mrs Mulrooney (or her tea), and requests she be assigned as his housekeeper. And so begins The Monsarrat Series, a fast-paced, witty and gripping series from Tom Keneally and his eldest daughter Meg.' (Publication summary)

1 y separately published work icon The Monsarrat Series Thomas Keneally , Meg Keneally , 2016 Sydney : Random House Australia , 2016 9055783 2016 series - author novel historical fiction
1 Our Father is Thomas Keneally Jane Keneally , Meg Keneally , 2000 single work column biography
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 9 January 2000; (p. 6-7)
1 Astley's Great Escape Meg Keneally , Jane Keneally , 1993 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: The Daily Telegraph Mirror , 8 May 1993; (p. 22)
X