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The Cannibal Trail

In 1822, the worst penal colony in the world was Sarah Island on the remote West Coast of Tasmania. The convicts endured endless cruelties - the worst was being flogged with the cat o'nine tails for the slightest infractions. Men's backs were turned to butchers' block pulp after 50 lashes. Many died, their blood and flesh dripping into the peat-dark waters of the harbour. Men became harder, more bitter, selfish and cruel just to survive. In 1822, eight men escaped and headed across the impenetrable mountains towards the settled districts in the East. They had no idea how far they had to travel, how dense the bush was, how high the mountains, how foul the weather. Soon their food supplies ran out. From then on, their only food walked beside them. Only Alexander Pearce survived. The cannibal trail is a fictional recreation of that journey. This book was originally published as And Now I Am Alone.

Tasmania cannibal convicts Australia penal escape Lyle Closs
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