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Frank Gardiner: Bushranger to Business/Morrison, Alec/Paper/1740310810/S010-E
Wiley Publishing Australia
This fascinating account of the exploits of bushranger Frank Gardiner, set against a backdrop of Australia in the gold rush era, has it all - drama, excitement, personal tragedy, even a love story!
Gardiner was a national celebrity in his own time. In 1862 he and his gang pulled off the biggest robbery of colonial times, relieving the Forbes-Sydney gold escort of bullion and banknotes worth around $4 million in today's money.
Though a hardened criminal, Gardiner had qualities that set him apart from most of the thuggish misfits and murderers of the bushranging fraternity. He was intelligent, energetic, disciplined and brave, with great physical and mental endurance and outstanding powers of leadership.
He was famously lucky too and, unlike many of his peers, he survived more than his three score years and ten. After paying for his crimes with a ten-year stint in Darlinghurst Gaol, he emigrated to California where he began a new life as a prosperous businessman, running a saloon in San Francisco's notorious 'Barbary Coast' district before reputedly marrying a rich widow and retiring to a fine ranch.