Under the Colony’s Eye: Gentlemen and Convicts on Cockatoo Island 1830-1869
Winner of the 2016 Kay Daniels Award


Author: Sue Castrique Published:2014, pp.194 ISBN: 9780992467111

This beautifully written book tells the story of the penal settlement on Cockatoo Island, the struggle to build a dock and an autocratic superintendent who turned the island into a secret gentleman’s fight club with his bare-knuckle prize-fighting convicts. It is a true story of corruption, patronage and intrigue. With a cast of memorable characters, this is narrative history that is as exciting to read as a novel. The island was a microcosm of colonial life, where gentlemen and convicts were involved in drama, death, turmoil, farce and moments of compassion. In the background was the island, a place that confined and surprised them all. Guarded by sea and circling gulls, the island has been a potent element in the lives of all those who lived on it. Under the Colony’s Eye reveals some of its long-held secrets.

About the author
Sue Castrique is a researcher, writer and script editor who lives in Sydney. She has experience bringing the past to the screen as a writer and script editor for historical documentaries. Her work has been recognised with a number of awards including three Australian Writer’s Guild Awards, an AFI and the Reuben Mamoulian Award. Sue has a BA (Hons) from ANU and a BA (Scriptwriting) from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School.

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Professional Historians Association of NSW blog 

Carol Liston, Susan McClean, Sue Castrique and Geoff Bailey at History House, RAHS, Sydney
Convict building, Cockatoo Island, Sydney Harbour
$34.95 inc GST

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Weight 701 g
Dimensions 17.5 x 25 x 1.1 cm