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Chequered Lives

John Barton Hack and Stephen Hack and the early days of South Australia

Iola Mathews, Chris Durrant

Chequered Lives
Chequered Lives is the fascinating story of a Quaker family from England who camped on the beach in 1837 before the city of Adelaide was created, but rose to owning a 3000-acre estate in the Adelaide Hills. Barton Hack built his first house where the Adelaide Railway station now stands, became a merchant who owned ships, a whaling station and the first vineyard in the Province, and was chairman of the first Chamber of Commerce in Australia. His younger brother Stephen became a grazier and explorer. After they lost everything in the crash of 1841-1843, their lives took a very different turn. When Barton's great-great-granddaughter, journalist Iola Mathews, opened a trunk full of their letters, diaries and memoirs, she knew she had to write the family's story.

Praise for Chequered Lives:
'As this detailed and gripping account shows, there were no guarantees in the rough and tumble of colonial life, and the ambitious Hack brothers encountered success and failure, joy, tragedy, and family division. Chequered Lives is a great story, fascinating and moving and very well told.' - Brian Matthews, Honorary Professor of English at Flinders University and award-winning biographer and columnist

'I couldn't put it down ... it is an important work about early South Australia, and particularly of the Society of Friends.' - Charles Stevenson, author of TheMillionth Snowflake: The history of Quakers in South Australia

'Chequered Lives is an easy to read, great story and well told.' - Nic Klaassen, Flinders Ranges Research journal

'The predominant audience for this book is adult, but it would be useful for Senior secondary students of Australian History and Religion Studies, as well as for Research Projects investigating genealogy topics.' - Margaret Strickland, ReadPlus

'In Chequered Lives Mathews has produced a model family history, rigorously researched and engagingly written.' - Fiona Capp, the Age

'This work is an important, readable and informative addition to the growing library of early South Australiana.' - Peter Brinkworth, the Pioneer, Pioneers Association of South Australia

'Chequered Lives provides a powerful lens to look at the early history of South Australia. Galsworthy meets Clavell - alongside the excellent historical research, this book is also a really great read.' - Mickey Dewar, Australian Journal of Politics and History, Vol 60, Issue 3, Northern Territory Library

'An enjoyable and instructive account of a significant family in a distinctive phase of colonial settlement in Australia.' Susan Marsden, Australian Historical Studies

Runner-up for the 2014 Alexander Henderson Awards for the Best Australian Family History

Iola Mathews OAM (nee Hack) is the great-great-granddaughter of John Barton Hack. She has a degree in history from Melbourne University and was a journalist with the Age newspaper for many years and the author of How to Use the Media in Australia (Penguin, 1991). She later worked at the Australian Council for Trade Unions as an industrial officer and advocate. More recently she wrote a memoir, My Mother, My Writing and Me (Michelle Anderson Publishing, 2009) and established writers' studios in the National Trust property Glenfern in East St Kilda. She lives in Melbourne with her husband Dr Race Mathews.

Dr Chris Durrant is an astrophysicist with a keen interest in the history of South Australia. He was born in England and worked at Cambridge University and in Freiberg, Germany, before coming to Australia in 1983. He is a former head of the School of Mathematics and Statistics at Sydney University and an author of several books on astrophysics. Since retirement he has pursued his interest in history and lives in Adelaide with his wife Kerry. His research and writing on South Australian history is at www.durrant.id.au.
Format Paperback
Size 210 x 135 mm
ISBN 9781743052587
Extent 320 pages
Price: AU$29.95 including GST
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