Fire in the Blood
One hundred and fifty years ago, Frank Gardiner rose from nowhere to become the most famous outlaw in the country. His gang included Ben Hall, Johnny Gilbert and a team of desperados who brought large tracts of inland New South Wales to the brink of anarchy. Yet he boasted that he never hurt a woman or ever committed a mean or petty act. When finally captured, Gardiner became the first and only Australian ever to be exiled from his homeland.
Gardiner electrified the colony of New South Wales in June 1862 with the biggest robbery of all – the hold-up of the Lachlan gold escort at Eurgowra Rocks. By the standards of the day it was bigger than Britain’s Great Train Robbery and much bigger than any Australian heist before or since.
Now, in a vivid tour de force, Robert Macklin combines meticulous research with a brilliant imagination to recreate Gardiner’s world in the backblocks of Australia and in the land of his exile, the United States. It is a rattling good yarn, an epic drama and a heart-rending love story. But it also provides a unique insight into the young colony at a time when class oppression sparked rage in the underdog and set ‘fire in the blood’ among the rebels of the bush