For the Term of His Natural Life (Hardcover)
For the Term of His Natural Life (1874) is a novel by Marcus Clarke. Inspired by a journey taken by the author to the penal colony of Port Arthur, Tasmania, the novel was originally serialized in The Australian Journal between 1870 and 1872. For its depictions of the brutality and inhumanity of Australia's penal colonies, the novel has been recognized as a powerful realist novel and one of the first works of Tasmanian Gothic literature. In the year 1827, a young British aristocrat is implicated in the murder and robbery of Lord Bellasis, his birth father. Sent to Van Diemen's Land, he changes his name to Rufus Dawes and steadies himself for life in some of the world's most notorious penal colonies. On board the Malabar, which is also transporting the new commander of the settlement at Macquarie Harbour, a group of mutineers hatches a plan to take control of the ship. Although Dawes warns the Captain, the conspirators place responsibility for the attempted mutiny on his innocent shoulders, and his sentence is extended for the rest of his life. At Macquarie Harbor and later Port Arthur, Dawes is brutalized, isolated, and tortured, leaving him no choice but to plan his unlikely escape. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Marcus Clarke's For the Term of His Natural Life is a classic of Australian literature reimagined for modern readers.