Bushrangers are Australian legends. Ned Kelly, Ben Hall, ‘Captain Thunderbolt’ and their bushranging brothers are famous. They’re remembered as folk heroes and celebrated for their bravery and their ridicule of inept and corrupt authorities. But not all Australian bushrangers were white men. And not all were seen in this glowing light in their own time.
In Boundary Crossers, historian Meg Foster reveals the stories of bushrangers who didn’t fit the mould. African-American man Black Douglas, who was seen as the ‘terror’ of the Victorian goldfields, Sam Poo, known as Australia’s only Chinese bushranger, Aboriginal man Jimmy Governor, who was renowned as a mass murderer, and Captain Thunderbolt’s partner, Aboriginal woman Mary Ann Bugg, whose extraordinary exploits extended well beyond her time as ‘the Captain’s Lady’.
All lived remarkable lives that were far more significant, rich and complex than history books have led us to believe.
‘Full of intriguing detail, colourful stories and challenging ideas, Boundary Crossers offers new context for some of Australia’s great central legends.’ — Alan Atkinson