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Australian Bushrangers Series – Captain Starlight

(4 customer reviews)
Authors: Jane Smith
Australian bushrangers, Captain Starlight

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Included on the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge list.

The Australian Bushrangers series by librarian and historical researcher, Jane Smith, details the colourful lives of six of Australia’s most famous bushrangers of the gold rush era: Captain Thunderbolt, Captain Moonlite, Frank Gardiner,

The fifth book in the series features the two men know as “Captain Starlight”. .Both were  bushrangers who travelled widely across the country in the second half of the nineteenth century, and although their backgrounds and their crimes differed greatly, they are linked by their connection with a character from a novel.

Frank Pearson was the first “Starlight” who burst onto the scene in 1868, when he abandoned his practice as a doctor, stole a horse and took off on a bushranging spree that ended in a shoot-out and the death of a policeman. Pearson was a very talented man: intelligent, well-educated and well-read, and a clever artist and composer. He was also a pathological liar with no moral compass whatsoever. The intriguing thing about him is that we know nothing about his first thirty years. He had so many aliases that we don’t even know what his real name was.

The other was Henry Readford, whose stunning theft of 1000 cattle was the inspiration for the fictional character “Captain Starlight” in Rolf Boldrewood’s novel Robbery under arms. This book is full of fascinating facts and legendary exploits as it explores the lives of both of the bushrangers known for very different reasons. With reference to newspapers, gaol records, police records and other primary sources it narrates the captivating stories of their crimes, their lives, their imprisonments and their ultimately their deaths.

Jane Smith

Jane Smith

Jane Smith, an accomplished author, archivist, editor and librarian, is dedicated to resurrecting captivating tales from history’s depths for readers of all ages. With a prolific portfolio spanning fiction and non-fiction since 2014, Jane has published over twenty books with a historical focus. Jane’s works have received national acclaim and earned multiple prestigious literary award […]

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4 reviews for Australian Bushrangers Series – Captain Starlight

  1. Jane Smith has provided an engaging, at times riveting, study of six of Australia’s more infamous bushrangers”

  2. Fabulous non fiction books for kids on an exciting period of Australian history: the bushrangers. With lots of photos and a clear, strong narrative, they are an excellent, accessible introduction to the flamboyant characters and tumultuous atmosphere of the bush ranging era. And for me, writing my Ben Hall novel, the ones on Frank Gardiner and Ben Hall himself have been useful additions to my research pile, while the Thunderbolt one is of course of local interest 🙂
    Highly recommended!

  3. What a phenomenal true crime/who-dunnit!… It’s an amazing true story of lies, deception, and surprising twists you won’t forget!’

  4. Captain Starlight: the strange but true story of a bushranger, impostor and murderer, required meticulous research and a desire to dig into the life and times of a man with a mysterious background and a talent for trickery.’

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