The Ship that Never Was: The Greatest Escape Story Of Australian Colonial History

The Ship that Never Was: The Greatest Escape Story Of Australian Colonial History

The greatest escape story of Australian colonial history by the son of Australia’s best-loved storyteller In 1828, James Porter, sailor, chancer, illywhacker, found himself on a ship bound for Van Diemen's Land, having been convicted of stealing a stack of beaver furs. After several escape attempts from the notorious penal colony, Porter, who told authorities he was a 'beer-machine maker', was sent to Sarah Island, known in Van Diemen's Land as 'hell on earth'. Many tried to escape the island; few succeeded. But when Governor George Arthur announced that Sarah Island would closed down and the prisoners moved to the new penal station of Port Arthur, Porter, along with a motley crew of other prisoners, pulled off an audacious escape. Commandeering the ship they'd been building to transport them to Port Arthur, the escapees sailed all the way to Chile. What happened next is stranger than fiction, a fitting outcome for this true-life picaresque tale.The Ship That Never Was is an entertaining and rollicking story from our past by an exciting new voice in popular history. James Porter, whose memoirs were the inspiration for Marcus Clarke's For the Term of his Natural Life, is an original Australian larrikin whose ingenuity, ability to talk himself out of a tight corner and refusal to buckle under authority makes him an irresistible anti-hero in the tradition of Ned Kelly.

Title:The Ship that Never Was: The Greatest Escape Story Of Australian Colonial History
Edition Language:English
ISBN:null
Format Type:

About Adam Courtenay


    The Ship that Never Was: The Greatest Escape Story Of Australian Colonial History Reviews

  • Shae

    This was a fascinating read.My first thought upon completion was, 'truth really can be stranger than fiction!'This extraordinary account of larrikin, convict James Porter and what could possibly be th...

  • Carol Jones

    A cracking tale of adventure that reads like a tall story yet it's all true! Vivid, entertaining history. Who knew of this pint-sized larrikan of a Tasmanian convict who just wouldn't lie down and beh...

  • Hwilko

    A compelling, page -turning history with all the best ingredients: a likeable rogue at centre stage and an against-the-odds escape from a lifetime of misery for an unlikely alliance of Australian conv...

  • Meredith Jaffe

    There is nothing like a rollicking good tale where the underdog triumphs over the top dog, not to mention great escapes and characters both ingenious and deeply flawed. Adam Courtenay's book is remini...

  • Noel Magnus

    I loved this book - a real cover to cover read.It's part history, part boys own adventure - with many rascals and even more twists and turns.A rollicking, adventurous ride through a piece of little kn...

  • Ashleigh

    Review to come on my blog but an intriguing story and part of Australian history I had not previously known about, amongst many others, and highlighted many gaps in convict history that are sometimes ...

  • Jessica

    Excellent true sort of convict escape . This extraordinary escape and journey to South America surely should be well known but this is the first I’d heard of it!! Well researched and documented stor...

  • Sasha

    This is a fascinating account of a little known episode in Australian colonial history. Convict James Porter and nine others managed to steal a newly built ship and sail it all the way to South Americ...

  • Anna Kelly

    As it says in the afterward: be warned because "this little bastard will get under your skin." The story of James Porter, convict and escape artist in 19th century Tasmania, was one I had never heard ...

  • Aspiring Scribbler

    "...the entertaining and rollicking story of what is surely the greatest escape in Australian colonial history." (From the blurb of the audio version)Honestly, I'm a little surprised at how many glowi...