The Prince and The Assassin: Australia's First Royal Tour and Portent of World Terror

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Melbourne Books, Jul 17, 2017 - Biography & Autobiography - 340 pages

The engrossing real life story of how Queen Victoria's favourite son, Prince Alfred, undertook the most ambitious Royal tour, only for Australia's overwhelming joy of having the first Royal on its shores jolted by his decadent behaviour, then shocked by an attempted assassination by a man trained as a priest.

The British Empire's youngest and most distant outpost found itself at the epicentre of a new crime and empirical fears about the first inter-continental terrorist group, a conspiracy and a 'lone wolf '. In a resulting 'reign of terror' extraordinary steps were taken to safeguard security with laws on treason and sedition which even the Queen felt went too far, and the would-be assassin was hastily executed in a miscarriage of justice led by opportunistic politicians.

This is an extraordinary and atmospheric weaving of the stories - some detailed for the first time - of royal intrigue, sexual appetite, religious bigotry, patriotic vengeance, naked ambition, national security and moral panic. They are stories of royals, immigrants, archbishops, republicans and the founding fathers of Australia and issues that remain with us today.

Drawing on Royal, British and Australian archives, the compelling narrative embraces a pivotal time in the evolution of Australia, and on the 150th anniversary reveals how a minute of madness rocked the country to its foundations, with a legacy which helped shape Australia's history and continues to influence and challenge us today.

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