An Irresistible Temptation: The true story of Jane New and a colonial scandal
Carol Baxter has written a work that captures the reader This is largely because of her skill as a narrative historian, her capacity to tell a good story.' - Gregory Melleuish, Australian Literary Review
In 1829 at the Supreme Court in Sydney, the bewitching Jane New was sentenced to death. Her crime: shoplifting a bolt of printed French silk. But was she guilty? Many had their doubts.
Although a legal technicality soon quashed Jane's sentence, the autocratic Governor Ralph Darling refused to set her free. Like bees to the honey pot, the gentlemen of Sydney swarmed to Jane's defence including barrister and political agitator William Charles Wentworth and Supreme Court Registrar John Stephen Jr, who were both vigorous and manipulative in their appeals to set her free.
An Irresistible Temptation is set against the backdrop of a particularly divisive period in colonial New South Wales. Not only did the scandal titillate Sydney and its legal and political ramifications push the colony to the brink of a constitutional crisis, but it contributed to the savagery of Governor Darling's public vilification and bestowed upon Jane New a place in the annals of Australian colonial history.
Compelling and fast-paced, An Irresistible Temptation is a meticulously researched history that takes us from the court docks of industrialising England, to Tasmania's raw penal settlement, the rough-house world of Sydney's Rocks and eventually back to the rarefied atmosphere of Britain' House of Commons.
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I called his southern counterpart Governor Arthur rather than using his full
administrative title, Lieutenant-Governor Arthur, and referred to the settlement
itself as Tasmania instead of Van Diemen's Land. I used given names for the
Jane's employer in Tasmania 1825–26 Raine, John (NSW) Notary Public Raine,
Thomas (NSW) Merchant Ralph, Hannah (NSW) Jane's accomplice Rens,
Jeanette (NSW) aka Jane Rens, daughter of Madame Josephine Rens Rens,
Fresh fruit and vegetables to fight the dreaded scurvy, water and other supplies
were loaded, and on 13 November the Henry set off on the remaining leg of its
journey to Tasmania. Weeks of stultifying heat continued as they lumbered past
You have probably dreamt of Tasmania as a kind of wilderness, an appropriate
insular prison for the vagabonds who are sent yearly from England. You have
never supposed that it has a beautiful harbour, a fine metropolis, with towns,
He was later elected to the Legislative Council, participated in drafting
Tasmania's constitution, was elected to the new House of Assembly, became
Speaker, and was knighted for his services in 1869. Sir Robert Officer was
perhaps the first ...
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An Irresistible TemptationUser Review - Thorpe-Bowker and Contributors - Books+Publishing
An Irresistible Temptation is the true story of Jane New: colonial temptress and habitual shoplifter. New created a scandal in Australia in the early 19th century when several of Sydney's prominent ... Read full review
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An Irresistible Temptation: The True Story of Jane New and a Colonial Scandal
Carol J. Baxter
No preview available - 2006