Books

Bull on The Wattle

Thunderbolt: Scourge of the Ranges, by G. James Hamilton with Barry Sinclair; Phoenix Press, 2009, 416 pages, $25. Popular or, as it is now sometimes condescendingly called, folk history has a long and honourable record It has, at least until recent decades, been the main way Australians learned about their past. Before history turned respectably academic, the great names were Frank Clune and Ion L. Idriess and there were many others. It would be nice to think this story of the 1860s bushranger Frederick Wordsworth Ward, alias Thunderbolt, heralded a return to the folky side. There is a ripping yarn…

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