The Sarah Island Conspiracies by Richard Innes Davey
I was always an outsider, an observer, but Sarah Island was inescapable: I saw their hunger and pain; I felt their desperation and terrible loneliness. I watched them bleed and weep and die. But I also saw a growing resolve not to be beaten. They would not bow down.
Throughout the twelve years of the Penal Settlement at Macquarie Harbour from 1822 till 1833, a clerk, known only as GK, visits Sarah Island periodically, a shadowy figure, a minor bureaucrat charged with minor tasks to perform, who observes the men banished to the Island behind the Gates of Hell, and is slowly drawn into their world.
Sixty years later, as the 19th Century draws to a close, he writes his account of those Voyages: The Sarah Island Conspiracies.
The Sarah Island Conspiracies is a record of twelve voyages to Macquarie Harbour by a shipping clerk from the Hobart Commissariat, an account of the Struggle for Sarah Island between 1822 and 1833 and of a final Great Escape.