If you're interested in Robin Hood, Wild Bill Hickok, Ned Kelly, Jesse James, Billy the Kid, outlaws, stagecoach robberies & Colt 45s, this book's for you. I'm enjoying 'Thunderbolt: Scourge of the Ranges' http://bit.ly/d3EJyA, about Captain Thunderbolt (Frederick Ward; died 1870), notorious Australian bushranger http://www.wilsonsalmanac.com/book/may25.html.
A few connections: (1) about 4 years ago I picked up a hitchhiker named Ward, who claimed to be Thunderbolt's great-nephew and I was convinced that he was, by his family knowledge; (2) one theory is that Thunderbolt wasn't shot (it was his brother the police killed) but died in a retirement home in Stanmore, Sydney, in 1926, when my Dad was aged one -- and I was born near Stanmore; (3) I knew another descendant of Thunderbolt, a woman for whose sexual appetites was known in Thunderbolt country as 'Thunderbreach'; (4) Thunderbolt was the only person ever to escape the brutally harsh colonial prison of Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour, where my in-laws lived in the prison governor's residence, about 125 years after Ward escaped by swimming with a box over his head. I stayed in that mansion quite a few nights. The old Cockatoo Island sandstone prison is fascinating, and when I stayed there one could still see the tiny, cold cells, the remains of an old well, and the iron bands used to hold convicts when they were flogged.
See also Highwaymen, outlaws, bushrangers, pirates, gangsters, etc in the Book of Days http://www.wilsonsalmanac.com/articles.html#baddies
Pictured: A photo I took of Thunderbolt's Rock one misty June, 2007, morning at Uralla, New South Wales, This was his hide-out.
Categories: book, crime, australia, legend, bushranger, sydney