'Scarcely out of print since the early 1870s, For the Term of His Natural Life has provided successive generations with a vivid account of a brutal phase of colonial life. The main focus of this great convict novel is the complex interaction between those in power and those who suffer, made meaningful because of its hero's struggle against his wrongful imprisonment. Elements of romance, incidents of family life and passages of scenic description both relieve and give emphasis to the tragedy that forms its heart.' (Publication summary : Penguin Books 2009)
'Initially written for The Queenslander as The Burning Mountain of the Interior, this 'Australian tale of adventure' sees a party of explorers travel into the desert in search of gold, some alleged hot springs, and a volcano. The group also hopes to discover the fate of Ludwig Leichhardt expedition. 'After some travail, they discover an unknown race located in a fine-looking country commanding vast gold reserves. The members of this race are distinct from the Aborigines around them, and constitute the degraded remnants of an ancient civilisation once occupying the Australian interior. By the end of the novel, this unknown race is destroyed by [the] erupting volcano, and the explorers are left to inherit their wealth of gold.'
Source: Bellanta, Fabulating the Australian Desert.