Follow the fortunes of Rufus Dawes, a young man transported to Australia for a murder he did not commit. (First published as a serial in the Australian Journal from 1870-72 as His Natural Life.)
On the evening of May 3, 1827, the garden of a large red-brick bow-windowed mansion called North End House, which, enclosed in spacious grounds, stands on the eastern height of Hampstead Heath, between Finchley Road and the Chestnut Avenue, was the scene of a domestic tragedy.
Three persons were the actors in it. One was an old man, whose white hair and wrinkled face gave token that he was at least sixty years of age. He stood erect with his back to the wall, which separates the garden from the Heath, in the attitude of one surprised into sudden passion, and held uplifted the heavy ebony cane upon which he was ordinarily accustomed to lean. He was confronted by a man of two-and-twenty, unusually tall and athletic of figure, dresses in rough seafaring clothes, and who held in his arms, protecting her, a lady of middle age. The face of the young man wore an expression of horror-stricken astonishment, and the slight frame of the grey-haired woman was convulsed with sobs.
These three people were Sir Richard Devine, his wife, and his only son Richard, who had returned from abroad that morning.
"So, madam," said Sir Richard, in the high-strung accents
This book was an enthralling story, but certainly not hopeless. It contained the thread of goodness (of Rufus Dawes) throughout the evil of a wrongful conviction, and the ultimate triumph and satisfaction of truth, even in tragedy.
I recently finished reading this book too and while it is very bleak I was enthralled as to the way of life back then and the attitudes towards anyone on the outside of society. It is still true today in every country. A well written book and worth the read.
I know it seems wrong to influence somebody to not to read a book but i cant help myself from giving this review.
It is the only story which when i read ,caused me a depression of 3,4 days as its so tragic,hopeless. . .i regretted reading it as the whole story was so bitter,though has been said to be true.
I just wanted to notify my expressions about this book to anybody who might wish to read this story so that he might not feel the shock that i felt.
It made me feel as if there is no good end of hardships of life and Justice of GOD sometimes is not manifested clearly in the world but ofcourse,its my personal opinion,everybody has his own views.