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Australias first novel
Quintus Servinton was written by the English convict Henry Savery and published in three volumes in Tasmania in 1830-31. Only 4 or 5 copies are known to exist today.
Savery's novel Quintus Servinton: A Tale founded upon Incidents of Real Occurrence is a disguised autobiography. It was published anonymously to avoid the harsh penalties given to a convict writing about such things.
Savery crime that sent him to Van Diemens Land was forgery. He was scheduled to hang for it. With the intervention of influential friends, it was commuted to transportation for life to Van Diemens Land.
He travelled from London to Hobart Town, Van Diemens Land on the ship Medway with 171 other convicts. There he worked for the Colonial Treasurer. Rather strange assignment considering the crimes he pled guilty to doing.
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