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The Ballad of Desmond Kale (2005)

de Roger McDonald

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1348205,258 (2.93)19
In the early 1800's, out of the prison society of govenors, redcoats, English gaolers, Irish convicts and the few free settlers of Botany Bay, none had entured much farther inland than a few dozen miles from Sydney into the vast territory claimed, New South Wales. Or so it was believed until the escape of Desmond Kale and the vengeance of his rival, the wildly eccentric parson magistrate Matthew Stanton.THE BALLAD OF DESMOND KALE is Roger McDonald's broad-sweeping novel of the first days of British settlement in Australia. At the centre is Stanton's pursuit of Kale - an Irish political prisoner and a rebelliously brilliant breeder of sheep. The alchemyof wool fascinated, threatens and transforms when it is discovered that fine wool thrives in New South Wales as no where else in the world, producing veritable gold on sheep's backs. The laying to waste of Spain (Britain's chief supplier of fine wools) at the end of the Napoleonic wars, opens vast new opportunities of supply.THE BALLAD OF DESMOND KALE is both a love story of unusual interest and an epic novel of greed, ambition, conceit and redemption. The novel is rich in its characterisations and the rawness of its settings, vigour of language and the vividness of personality. The action moves from the early Australian bush to the halls of Westminster, the mills of Yorkshire, the sierras of Spain, the wilds of the Southern Ocean, and retrns at last into the far outback for its finale. Once the ballad is sung, ordinary experience is heightened, the world can never be the same again. A brilliant and inspired recreation of the early days of white Australian settlement by one of Australis's finest writers working at the height of his powers.… (mais)
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» Veja também 19 menções

Mostrando 1-5 de 8 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Tried three times with this. Evidently don't like sheep enough to persist.
  Kirstie_Innes-Will | Apr 18, 2014 |
Story of a convict and a NSW Corp officer establishing quality sheep in the early stages of colonial settlement in NSW. Told in a curiously indirect manner, with inferences replacing facts, which is initially mildly annoying, but becomes a theme of the book. Interesting. Read March 2008 ( )
  mbmackay | Jul 25, 2009 |
Wonderful story. Like a big 19th century novel, set on the Australian frontier. ( )
  joe1402 | Jul 24, 2009 |
I fould it hard to relate to the characters. Some of the historical facts and situations were interesting but I didn't really care what was happening. ( )
  MarkKeeffe | Jan 5, 2009 |
One the very, very few books I could not bring myself to finish. More about sheep than anyone could ever wish to know, in tiresome plodding prose. ( )
  anzlitlovers | Dec 24, 2008 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 8 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
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For Lorna McDonald with love and thanks for gifts of conversation, friendship, and example over a lifetime.
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After Desmond Kale was flogged for stealing a ten shilling metal rake he was cut down from the punishment tree and commanded to walk the ten miles back to the prison stockade of Toongabbie.
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In the early 1800's, out of the prison society of govenors, redcoats, English gaolers, Irish convicts and the few free settlers of Botany Bay, none had entured much farther inland than a few dozen miles from Sydney into the vast territory claimed, New South Wales. Or so it was believed until the escape of Desmond Kale and the vengeance of his rival, the wildly eccentric parson magistrate Matthew Stanton.THE BALLAD OF DESMOND KALE is Roger McDonald's broad-sweeping novel of the first days of British settlement in Australia. At the centre is Stanton's pursuit of Kale - an Irish political prisoner and a rebelliously brilliant breeder of sheep. The alchemyof wool fascinated, threatens and transforms when it is discovered that fine wool thrives in New South Wales as no where else in the world, producing veritable gold on sheep's backs. The laying to waste of Spain (Britain's chief supplier of fine wools) at the end of the Napoleonic wars, opens vast new opportunities of supply.THE BALLAD OF DESMOND KALE is both a love story of unusual interest and an epic novel of greed, ambition, conceit and redemption. The novel is rich in its characterisations and the rawness of its settings, vigour of language and the vividness of personality. The action moves from the early Australian bush to the halls of Westminster, the mills of Yorkshire, the sierras of Spain, the wilds of the Southern Ocean, and retrns at last into the far outback for its finale. Once the ballad is sung, ordinary experience is heightened, the world can never be the same again. A brilliant and inspired recreation of the early days of white Australian settlement by one of Australis's finest writers working at the height of his powers.

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