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South Australia was meant to be the perfect colony: free settlers, no crime, and no mental illness. But good intentions go awry. Within three years plans for a permanent gaol were well established, along with a governor to oversee it: William Baker Ashton.
Researcher Rhondda Harris came upon Ashton’s long-lost journal by happy accident, and was soon absorbed by ‘The Governor’s’ handwritten pages. They told a hidden story of early Adelaide and its underbelly, of crashes and crises and crims. ‘Ashton’s Hotel’, the colonists called their prison. His kindness of spirit, under nigh-impossible circumstances, shines through in this first published edition of his journal, expertly contextualised and introduced by Rhondda Harris.
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