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Colonial Western Australia was formed not only by adventurous sea captains, governors, and stoic pioneers, but also by murderers, thieves, rapists – and the hangman.
More than 150 people were hanged in Western Australia between 1840 and 1964. Some had committed heinous crimes for profit or vengeance; some had killed out of jealousy, misunderstanding or madness. Others were hanged simply because they were victims of their times – prejudices and ill-fated circumstances leading them inexorably towards the gallows.
Focusing on the period from first settlement to the eve of World War I, historian Simon Adams skillfully places the circumstances of victims and perpetrators against the backdrop of their era, revealing the stories behind the hangings. We hear last words, feel the heartbreaking fear of the walk to the gallows and watch as bodies dangle at the end of a noose. This is a social history of the dark side of Western Australia’s past.
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Praise for The Unforgiving Rope:
[Simon Adams] skilfully places the circumstances of victims and perpetrators against the backdrop of their era.
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