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Robbery under Arms

Rolf Boldrewood

Book Overview: 

A tale of cattle duffing, horse stealing and bushranging in the New South Wales outback with Captain Starlight. To quote the author "though presented in the guise of fiction, this chronicle of the Marston family must not be set down by the reader as wholly fanciful or exaggerated. Much of the narrative is literally true, as can be verified by official records. A lifelong residence in Australia may be accepted as a guarantee for fidelity as to local color and descriptive detail.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Murray low down, and work their way up by degrees. Which way are you boys going?'

'Jim and I to Melbourne by next steamer,' I said. 'May as well see a bit of life now we're in it. We'll come back overland when we're tired of strange faces.'

'All right,' says father, 'they won't know where I'm lyin' by for a bit, I'll go bail, and the sooner you clear out of Adelaide the better. News like ours don't take long to travel, and you might be nabbed very simple. One of ye write a line to your mother and tell her where you're off to, or she'll be frettin' herself and the gal too—frettin' over what can't be helped. But I suppose it's the natur' o' some women.'

We done our settling-up next day. All the sale money was paid over to Starlight. He cashed the cheques and drew the lot in notes and gold—such a bundle of 'em there was. He brought them out to us at the camp, and then we 'whacked' the lot. There were eight of us that had to shar. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I have been travelling solo the last few days and took along this CD audio abridged edition for the long 7 hour drive to Albury NSW. What a treat this turned out to be and for a bit of serendipity the story is set around the very area that I travelled and then stayed. The Snowy Mountains provides be

This is a long story told by a protagonist on death row who deserved to be where he was. The story is deliberately rough in its language, and is complex, human and credible. The characterisation is convincing with variety and intrigue, with few stereotypes, which that era was understandably prone to

For all his cross doings, Dick Marston will be hanged in a month.
Die--die--yes, die; be strung up like a dog, as they say. I'm blessed if ever I did know of a dog being hanged, though, if it comes to that, a shot or a bait generally makes an end of 'em in this country. Ha, ha! Did I laugh? What a r

"Robbery under arms is a bushranger novel by Thomas Alexander Browne, published under his pseudonym Rolf Boldrewood, It was first published in serialized form by The Sydney Mail between July 1882 and August 1883, then in three volumes in London in 1888. It was abridged into a single volume in 1889 a

For a story about bushrangers this sure was boring. Also racist and sexist, even for the time period it was written in. I believe at one point the narrator says that women need to be starved like dogs to appreciate what they have. Also apparently women are only capable of experiencing two emotions w

To enjoy this book, read a chapter a week. That's about a pleasant pace. Put it down often and really try to imagine the society sights, the sounds, and even the smells.

Don't rush it, don't obsess, I've cost myself some sweet dreams by slogging it out. Not that that was my original intention, my mi

Possibly the book with the best subtitle: ‘A Story of Life and Adventure in the Bush and in the Goldfields of Australia’. Sounded like my kind of novel and it was. It’s an outlaw narrative of Dick Marston and his younger brother Jim being led by their dodgy dad into a wild life of cattle rustling, t

Unexpectedly wonderful! I just adored this book about the exploits and fates of a group of bushrangers in New South Wales in mid-nineteenth century Australia. I found the characters, the story, the portrayal of colonial Australia and the language of the time mesmerising.
The bulk of the action takes

Previous rating 4 stars

Going through my bookshelves doing the annual clean up, as you do, I came across my well worn copy of Robbery Under Arms (one of the few novels I will never 'clean out'). I got to thinking, what rating did I give this and did I ever review it. So on here I come, to see a 4 sta

My impression of Robbery Under Arms is one of appreciation that such a book exists. Boldrewood (or Browne, as that was his actual name) captures the setting and spirit of colonial Australia during the middle of the 19th Century, as it happened. The book captures the feeling of that remote colony and

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