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Described by historian, Manning Clark, as ‘Australia’s greatest native son’, William Charles Wentworth led a life of firsts. A man of rat cunning, great intelligence and sharp wit, he wrote the first book by an Australian to be published, was joint editor and proprietor of Australia’s first independent newspaper, and founder of Australia’s first university.
But more importantly, with ruthless energy and a volcanic personality, this ‘convict brat’ spent his life as an unrelenting advocate for comprehensive trial by jury, self-government and an Australian confederation.
After purchasing the South Island of New Zealand from Maori chiefs in 1840, Wentworth briefly became the largest land owner in the British Empire until a furious New South Wales governor forced him to give it back.
Articulating a distinctly Australian identity to the world, Wentworth has a strong claim to be a founding father of modern Australia.
Andrew Tink's author talk on William Charles Wentworth
The Australian: ‘A racy view of a rollicking life’.
The Age: ‘The Wentworth that emerges from this engagingly written biography is larger-than-life, picaresque even, almost like something from a Fielding novel’.
The Canberra Times: ‘Rarely have I enjoyed reading a biography as much as this one. So much of it cries out to be quoted’.
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