English Passengers by Matthew Kneale
A Novel

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In 1857 when Captain Illiam Quillian Kewley and his band of rum smugglers from the Isle of Man have most of their contraband confiscated by British Customs, they are forced to put their ship up for charter. The only takers are two eccentric Englishmen who want to embark for the other side of the globe. The Reverend Geoffrey Wilson believes the Garden of Eden was on the island of Tasmania. His traveling partner, Dr. Thomas Potter, unbeknownst to Wilson, is developing a sinister thesis about the races of men.

Meanwhile, an aboriginal in Tasmania named Peevay recounts his people’s struggles against the invading British, a story that begins in 1824, moves into the present with approach of the English passengers in 1857, and extends into the future in 1870. These characters and many others come together in a storm of voices that vividly bring a past age to life.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Matthew Kneale

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Matthew Kneale, the author of several novels, lives in Italy. English Passengers is his American debut.
Published December 10, 2008 by Anchor. 446 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for English Passengers

Publishers Weekly

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The English passengers are the Reverend Wilson, a vicar determined to prove that Tasmania was the site of the original Garden of Eden, and Doctor Potter, a ruthless scientist equally determined to prove Wilson wrong and gain fame in the victory.

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Book Reporter

With masterful skill, Kneale transports us between the events that evolved in the colonization of Tasmania over three decades and the subsequent voyage of the Sincerity as passengers and crew make their way toward the island and a convergence with destiny.

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The Millions

Upcoming Books: Matthew Kneale, Andrew Miller, James Salter Matthew Kneale won the Whitbread Book of the Year award...

Sep 08 2009 | Read Full Review of English Passengers: A Novel

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