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Reading and Resistance: John Mitchel, Fenian Convict

THROUGHOUT the transportation period, a number of gentleman convicts (referred to as ‘Specials’) made their way to Australia providing evidence of the vast range of literacies and competencies among the prison population. One class of prisoner, set apart from the ordinary criminal, was those serving out sentences during the periods of Fenian unrest in Ireland.Continue reading “Reading and Resistance: John Mitchel, Fenian Convict”

On Not Reading

ALTHOUGH Robinson Crusoe tells us that he managed to rescue several books from the sinking wreck apart from his beloved bible, it is remarkable that, for the next two decades, these scarce commodities go without mention or even apparent use. Books of course have uses other than reading, uses that would have been immediately apparentContinue reading “On Not Reading”

Roosevelt’s Pigskin Library

IT is difficult to believe that world leaders once had time for leisurely reading. U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was surely one of the more bookish. Meditating on the intimacy that can exist between readers and their books, Roosevelt once asserted that ‘If a man or a woman is fond of books he or she willContinue reading “Roosevelt’s Pigskin Library”

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