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Tasmania Over Five Generations: Return to Van Diemen’s Land?


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John Biggs

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Tasmania Over Five Generations: Return to Van Diemen’s Land?
(Forty degrees South, 2011)                     (wt 1075 gm) Tasmania’s social and political progress through the eyes of five father-son generations.

Abraham Biggs arrived in Hobart Town in 1833. For another four generations his descendants lived through an important phase in Tasmanian history. What do their stories of tell us about the Tasmania in which each lived? The author returned to Tasmania after forty years abroad to find in the corridors of power a tapestry of Byzantine complexity, woven with the warp of government and the woof of corporate power. Abraham Biggs might well look from that distant shore, smile, nod and murmur: “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.”

Biggs writes without fear or favour. The result is a lively and provocative work that “knocks the dust off” most conventional local histories. This reviewer enjoyed it immensely.                                                                                 Sunday Tasmanian

It is rare to find a book that can offer a detailed, deeply involved history of place…a blend of history, biography and political analysis; a panorama of time and an island. … an important contribution to Tasmania’s literature.                                                                                                                          Island Magazine

John Biggs has avoided the problems that beset so many family historians … I would be proud to have written a book of this quality and significance.                                                                       Descent