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The Celebrated George Barrington

written by Nathan Garvey

Houghton Mifflin | ISBN 9781875567546

Hardback – 327 pages


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A major new work of Australian history and literary studies. George Barrington (c.1758-1804), gentleman pickpocket, convict, and sometime constable in the penal settlement of New South Wales, was the most famous inhabitant of the Australian colonies at the turn of the nineteenth century. His fame rested on the vast number of popular narratives published under his name, works which in reality he had nothing to do with. Through a mix of plagiarism and invention, the Barrington books were probably the most widely circulated accounts of the early years of European settlement in Australia.

This book traces the genesis of the Barrington books in rich and evocative detail, offering a compelling account of publishing history in England and on the continent, and displaying the subtle machinations of the book trade in a world without copyright laws. Throughout, The Celebrated George Barrington combines the rigour of book history and bibliographical research with a fresh and engaging style. Elegantly printed in two-colours, and bound in red saifu cloth with a full-colour dustjacket, the work includes some twenty-six illustrations, all taken from the early Barrington books.


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