For the Term of His Natural Life

Marcus Clarke

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For the Term of His Natural Life

For the Term of His Natural Life The most famous work by the Australian novelist and poet For the Term of His Natural Life is a powerful tale of an Australian penal settlement which originally appeared in serial form in a Melbourne

  • Title: For the Term of His Natural Life
  • Author: Marcus Clarke
  • ISBN: 9781406512038
  • Page: 492
  • Format: Paperback
  • The most famous work by the Australian novelist and poet, For the Term of His Natural Life is a powerful tale of an Australian penal settlement, which originally appeared in serial form in a Melbourne paper.

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      Published :2019-02-25T06:32:51+00:00

    One thought on “For the Term of His Natural Life

    1. Marianne on said:

      “We convicts have the advantage over you gentlemen. You are afraid of death; we pray for it. It is the best thing that can happen to us. Die! They were going to hang me once. I wish they had. My God, I wish they had!”For The Term Of His Natural Life is the best-known novel by Australian author, Marcus Clarke. It was first published in 1874, although it began as a serialised novel titled His Natural Life, published in the Australian Journal. Text Publishing have produced a handsome volume und [...]

    2. Banafsheh Serov on said:

      Poignant and tender, Marcus Clarke's novel depicts both the ugliness and resilience of man. Its depiction of the harsh realities during early settlement, has ensured its status as an important Australian classic.Accused of a crime he did not commit, Richard Devine- an English aristocrat, is sentenced to life imprisonment at the penal colony of Tasmania. Taking on a new identity (to save his mother grief and shame), the now Rufus Dawes sails to Van Diemen's Land on board a convict ship. What he d [...]

    3. Tien on said:

      This is the first Australian historical fiction dealing with convicts that I’ve read (as far as I can remember anyway) and I was truly looking forward to it. It’s a classic written in the late 19th century so I guess it was contemporary fiction when it was first written.Basically, the story follows an intrinsically good man who has a run of ‘bad luck’ throughout the book for a period of 20 years of his life. It is amazing just how much ‘bad luck’ a person can have and yet despite the [...]

    4. Christopher Rex on said:

      This book was incredible. Fans of "The Count of Monte Cristo" and "Crime and Punishment" take note. Any fan of the "prison novel" or "prison movie" will likely enjoy this book immensely. The lead jailer - Maurice Frere - could easily have been the inspiration for the sadistic wardens of "Shawshank Redemption" and "Cool Hand Luke" respectively. Brief summary: The book surrounds the 19thC Penal Colony of Australia and the various "island prisons" that were set up there. The inhumanity of that expe [...]

    5. Lisa on said:

      It was good fun reading this Aussie Classic with a bunch of mostly American readers in the Yahoo 19th century reading group. As I was leading the discussion, I had to start by clearing up some assumptions about this strange land of ours downunder. People overseas usually think of Australia as blue skies and sunshine, but for the purposes of this book, the hot and arid landscapes of Australia are irrelevant. Our smallest and most southerly island state is nothing like that. On the contrary, it’ [...]

    6. Thom Swennes on said:

      Warning! This book is not for the faint hearted. Marcus Clarke wrote a story that would rightfully take the same place in Australian and British history as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin took in that of the United States. Most people (especially history buffs) know that Australia was originally used as a penal colony and a great majority of the original European inhabitants were convicts. In Britain deportation was deemed more humane and every much as definite and hanging at Tybur [...]

    7. Bryn Hammond on said:

      Glad to see other reviewers mention The Count of Monte Cristo. I felt strong influence from that, and from Les Mis -- no worse for it, but rather an argument for unabashed influence. It was also an argument for pulp fiction, because it puts its pulp to great uses. A cracking read (I pinched that adjective from another review, but it's exactly right). This Penguin edition entitles itself just His Natural Life, which restores an original irony. It has a confused publishing history, but this, edite [...]

    8. Shanelle Kennedy on said:

      Every chapter made me cry It's going to take me a year to get over this terrible and beautiful story

    9. RavenclawReadingRoom on said:

      So apparently I never reviewed this last year? Whoops. This book is basically the story of a guy who finds out something scandalous about his family, is then falsely accused of murder, convicted, and sent to the colonies. He spends the next millionty years of his life being falsely accused of more crimes and being punished accordingly. Basically, he's Jean Valjean minus the singing and the bread. The first part of this story was completely action packed and I loved it. The second part featured a [...]

    10. Lisa on said:

      I read this cause it’s an Australian classic but it was painful for me to read. Very Victorian—like Dickens without the humor. Still, a vivid picture of convict life that I’m sure some people needed to see at the time it was written.

    11. Estelle Borrey on said:

      I find this book very powerful and compelling, with well drawn characters and memorable scenes. I have to say that it is the first book, which, in my experience, has made me physically sick, with its account of the inhumane flogging meted out to poor Kirkland. It is one of those books that have the power to really make you pass through wonderful and terrible emotions, and question what makes a human, weak, strong wonderful. It questions social distinctions, and had me cheering for the underdog. [...]

    12. Kelv on said:

      While I thought the prose was a bit dated and slow to follow in some parts, the chapter order chopped and changed regularly, and also it was hard to time and date passages, which contributed to not being able to determine the duration of some events. While all of the above, this is brilliant piece of work which reminded me of Ken Follets Pillars of the Earth i.e. down and out champion who hangs in there by a thread only divide and conquer - not quite, as he never had revenge on those who unjustl [...]

    13. Perseus Q on said:

      Should one suffer the gravest of injustices based solely on a coincidence, and it results in one unfairly punished and imprisoned for life, there's a novel in it. Rufus Dawes suffers eight of them Which is just stupid, and as each coincidental injustice occurred I groaned. Just the first would have done. It's a shame because the book was an exciting adventure yarn, and Clarke did not need to keep adding in all these injustices to make the book exciting These narrative twists actually took away f [...]

    14. Will on said:

      Powerful book about early convict life in Australia. I am not Australian, but am married to one, and read this book to understand my other home. Certainly one of the great convict novels, and quite possibly the first great Australian novel, which was a bombshell when first published. Suffice it to say that this was gripping, compelling reading from start to finish. I will long remember Rufus Dawes and his struggles. Most highly recommended.

    15. Diana Trăncău on said:

      Pe tot parcursul cărții m-am gândit la Edmond Dantès și mi s-a părut amuzant când Sylvia a dorit să citească „Contele de Monte Cristo”. Frere este o ființă josnică și mi-a produs dezgust încă de la început. Îmi pare rău că singurele suflete bune au sfârșit împreună numai înainte de pieri. Este trist și totuși, Rufus Dawes a ajuns să țină în palme mai mult decât un trandafir atins de copila pe care o salvase, iar asta mă bucură.

    16. Velvetink on said:

      When you read this you realise why your family is so screwy. An historical fiction of one of the world's greatest sociological experiments: the prison colonies known as Australia.

    17. Ric on said:

      What do you say about a novel that is considered a nascent classic of your nation's literature? It's been a movie and a TV mini-series (most probably a radio drama before that) what else can I say, but it's great.But it was not till the last quarter of the 500+ page novel, that I realised I was reading greatness. My initial thoughts were: this is clunky - very old (true, the novel was published in 1874); there's too much repetition, could do with better editing; very melodramatic - very he's a g [...]

    18. Lisa on said:

      Marcus Clarke's For the Term of His Natural Life is one of the earliest and most famous Australian novels. Predominately set in some of the most notorious of Australia's convict settlements, including Port Macquarie, Port Arthur and Sarah Island, the novel delivers an implicit criticism of the penal system. Topical in its original context, it serves as a reminder to readers today.The story revolves around Rufus Dawes, who must be one of the unluckiest characters ever. It really beggars belief, h [...]

    19. Anca Rucareanu on said:

      Pentru toată viața – a reprezentat pentru mine prima întâlnire cu autorul Marcus Clarke. Mi-a plăcut modul de scriere și am resimțit în anumite pasaje masculinitatea lui, mai ales în descrierile ample în ceea ce privește construcția de nave, sau regimul dur din închisoare. Este o carte care îți insuflă o stare aventură și cutezanță, dar te face să te și îndoiești asupra faptului cum că viața noastră ar depinde numai de noi. Oamenii din jurul tău și adevărurile spu [...]

    20. Dawn on said:

      There were things I loved about this book and things I hated. In a way the book was disjointed in the way it was written. It was also obvious that the author had found out information about this period in history and deliberately tried to put that information into the novel. The novel was way too long and the way that things kept going wrong for Rufus Dawes were irritating- how much bad luck can one person have? But that aside, there is a traditional classical tale here that is worth telling.

    21. Karen Beath on said:

      I really wanted to love this book. I'm a history buff with convict genealogy and so naturally this type of historical fiction appealed to me. I did enjoy reading about the convicts. It was written in a very raw, brutal and honest way. I think if Clarke had stuck to describing convict life it would have been a great novel.There are two things that ruin the book for me: the implausible plot and the rampant sexism.I'll start with the sexism. Yes, I understand this is a classic and views of women we [...]

    22. Patrick Murtha on said:

      A truly great novel despite some obvious imperfections, and certainly foundational for Australian literature. Sprawling, uncontrolled, uneven, and unforgettable. The absolutely word-complete Penguin reprint of the first edition is the way to go, since Clarke's text has been frequently abridged.

    23. Kenna Shaw on said:

      The first time I read this it was for school. Somehow, it was one book I came back to as an adult. Then the wonder hit me - you could read this book every decade of your life and it would open itself to you a little more every time.

    24. Richard on said:

      It was originally written as a serial and I can fathom why. Tis not a happy tale, but realistic to the extreme I believe. If 19th Century England and Australia interests you, you might want read this novel. I enjoy 19th historical fiction set in most any land. If you want a list of really good historical fiction set in Australia and environs please reach out to me.

    25. Tegan on said:

      This is a dense book that took me some time to get through. While I found it very slow I gave it three stars because: 1) I appreciated this book's examination of convict-era-Australia and, 2) the way the intricate plot was resolved was satisfying enough.

    26. Sandra on said:

      Brutal and at times harrowing, this book provides a raw and realistic account of convict life in Colonial Australia.

    27. Isabel on said:

      only the subject matter saves it from being a forgotten piece of moralistic Victoriana

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