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Tully’s great-great uncle Michael was hanged for murder more than a century ago. According to family lore, he was attacked in a pub – accused by his attacker because as an Irish immigrant he was taking work from locals. At a time when anti-Irish prejudice was rampant during an economic depression, he never stood a chance of justice. The bare bones of the story are more or less ‘true’ but have been fleshed out using the author’s imagination. Michael’s family emigrated from County Donegal in Ireland to Tyneside in northern England sometime in the 1890s. They had planned to go to America but their ship never turned up in Cork. The title, On an Alien Shore, is taken from James Horsley’s poem ‘An Emigrant’s Sigh’. Although these sad events took place long ago, the themes are very relevant today, with so many refugees, asylum seekers, ‘economic migrants’ and resurgent racism. “On an Alien Shore presents a vivid background of the poverty and squalor of late 19th century Tyneside with its slums, its appalling working conditions, its pubs and prisons. Against this background plays out a well-told story of romance, family love and pride. It is in marked contrast to most period melodramas because of its emphasis on the empowering role of the union movement. Most of all, On an Alien Shore stands as an indictment both of unthinking racial prejudice and of laissezfaire capitalism. In both these regards it is not only an insight into history, but a monitory tale for today.” – Tim Thorne
Acerca de John Tully
John Tully first became interested in Indochina in the 1960s. He has a MA in Asian Studies and a PhD in history and in author of two books on Cambodian history. He is currently a lecturer in Political Science and Asian Studies at Melbourne’s Victoria University.Series Editor Milton Osborne has had an association with the Asian region for over 40 years as an academic, public servant and independent writer. He is the author of eight books on Asian topics, including Southeast Asia: An introductory history, first published in 1979 and now in its eighth edition, and, most recently, The Mekong: Turbulent Past, Uncertain Future, published in 2000.
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