Sneak peak: Pendragon – The life of George Isaccs, colonial wordsmith

Thanks to our friends at Wakefield Press, here is a sneak peak into Pendragon – The life of George Isaacs, colonial wordsmith written by Anne Black.

Youth and The Hesperus,

1825-1844

It may be too fanciful to presume, that every century has produced an average amount of genius, and that the superiority of one age over another has been less owing to any caprice of nature, than to extraordinary events which have developed great minds, that otherwise might have lived and died in obscurity; George Isaacs, 1843

“On Valentine’s Day 1876, an impoverished man died at a hotel in the centre of Adelaide. In keeping with his Jewish heritage, he was quickly dispatched to the West Terrace Cemetery, where, with no family present, he was buried without pomp. His grave was unmarked by a stone; his memory damned for posterity by an obituary soon published in the South Australian Register. It labelled him ‘a thorough Bohemian’. Such was the end of George Isaacs, the little-known author of the first novel published in South Australia.

Whether writing under his own name or under his apt pseudonym, ‘A.Pendragon’, Isaacs captured the dynamic atmosphere of his era in his written works, but he did not fit comfortably into colonial society. Set apart by an unconventional private life, his fierce intelligence and his willingness to speak and write his mind, Isaacs was an intellectual larrikin who led a surprisingly varied life across two hemispheres and two Australian colonies.”

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