By Carol Baxter

Set opposed to the backdrop of a very divisive interval in colonial New South Wales, Australia, this sensational tale recounts the scandal that established at the attractive convict Jane New and her function within the public vilification of Governor Ralph Darling and the elevation of William Charles Wentworth from journalist and public determine to the colony’s grasp political operator.

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Additional resources for An Irresistible Temptation: The True Story of Jane New and a Colonial Scandal

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In the morning, however, the gates of the prison barracks opened and the evening’s illusion shattered. Hundreds of convicts trudged along the streets of Sydney, their bowed heads and downcast visages reflecting their misery. As the day wore on, bands of convicts yoked to wagons laden with gravel and stone performed the functions usually carried out by bullocks. And the screams of convicts being flogged in the prison yard pierced the town clamour. Although this grim reality shocked the uninitiated, for Jane, one penal settlement was conceivably little different to another.

Some shrugged. ‘The women are used to selling their bodies,’ others rationalised. indd 22 31/8/06 5:38:30 PM A prison without bars 23 Of course, the women’s behaviour exacerbated the problem. The streetsmart women soon realised that judicious use of their bodies empowered them. It was the only currency they had to assert control over their lives and destinies. For services rendered, they could often entice gaolers, masters or other authority figures to manipulate the system in their favour. Once recognised, once acted upon, it was a lesson never forgotten.

When the axe later fell, it was John’s head that was lopped.

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