Friday, September 30, 2011

Captain Thunderbolt & His Lady

I wouldn't miss an opportunity to hear Carol Baxter speak. Although her author talk at Hornsby Library this week was not strictly a genealogy talk I went along because, as well as being interested in Thunderbolt, I enjoy listening to Carol. As a lively speaker who engages her audience and keeps them awake she is one of a rare breed on the genealogy speaking circuit.

Carol spoke about her new book Captain Thunderbolt & his Lady the story of the Gentleman bushranger and his lady, the educated part aboriginal Mary Ann Bugg. This new book was recently launched at McCrossin's Mill Museum,  in Uralla, NSW the town around which Frederick Ward (Captain Thunderbolt) worked.  Carol told us the pre-publication history of the book, whetted our appetites by reading from the book and kept secret details of the events described in the book.

I was first in line before the talk to buy a copy of the book. As I was sitting near members of Carol's family I heard their hurried 'phone calls to someone relaying that all copies of the book had been sold prior to the talk. At the conclusion of the talk I saw that someone had delivered another carton of copies so all who wanted were able to buy and have a book signed by Carol.

 While Carol writes in a descriptive style her writing is based on sound research principles with heavy use of original source material. I have only read the first few pages of the book so far and it promises to be an easy read that tarts up dry old historical facts and makes historical non-fiction have appeal to people like me who do hot have the stomach for dry academic tomes..

Carol Baxter at Hornsby Library
When the lady beside me asked if I had heard Carol speak previously I gave a reply that painted Carol in a glowing light. Luckily I had because I was seated beside Carol's very proud mother who, with family members and friends was at the event which was the Sydney launch of the book.

On this occasion Carol appeared nervous and seemed to be delivering a prepared speech that she had committed to memory. In spite of this I enjoyed her talk immensely. It was pleasing to note that when she took questions from the audience the real Carol emerged.  Her engaging personality and passion for history and writing shone through  when she spoke "off the cuff".

Even though I didn't even avail myself of a glass of the plonk and the sandwiches offered after the talk I got great value for my $5. Thanks to Hornsby Library for hosting this event.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Must buy this book. Some of my husband's family came from Uralla and his great great grandfather James Ryan's obituary states that he was there when Thunderbolt was shot.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...