Here is a unique story, written by William Thornley, a former Surrey corn merchant who emigrated to Hobart Town in 1817. It records his twenty-two years as a free settler in a penal colony, when pursuing a gang of hostile bush rangers and facing hostile aborigines was all in a day’s work, and a trip to Hobart Town meant witnessing a public execution. It was an era in which life was, for many, violent, brutish and short. But Thornley also shows us the humour and human aspects of life in early Van Diemen’s Land in this amazing, man-on-the-spot narrative. The book came into the possession of John Mills when he bought an old house, and discovered it in a pile of rubbish left behind. He has edited it into a form more readily acceptable to modern readers to make it more concise, but has retained the phraseology and idiom of Thornley. Black and white illustrations.