Captain Moonlite, Andrew George Scott, is the great anti-hero of queer colonial Australian history. The preacher turned bushranger caught in a doomed love affair with a young protege. Author Craig Cormick brings a fresh perspective to the story in his creative biography, A Darker Shade of Moonlite.
Not-for-profit publisher Queer Oz Folk add A Darker Shade of Moonlite to their list of highly regarded queer Aussie histories. The imprint previously published Wayne Murdoch’s The Mystery of the Handsome Man and Sylvia Martin’s Passionate Friends.
Born in Ireland, Andrew George Scott, migrated to New Zealand hoping to strike it rich in the Otago gold rush. Injured in the Maori wars, he moved to Victoria and prepared for a career in the Anglican priesthood.
But Scott ended up on the run after accusations of involvement in a bank robbery and then of obtaining money by false pretences.
During a subsequent prison sentence, he met James Nesbitt, the love of his life. After his release, Andrew George Scott embarked on a campaign for prison reform. But stymied by the authorities at every turn, he and Nesbitt also assembled a bushranging gang. As Captain Moonlite, Scott became Australia’s second-most famous bushranger.
A story doomed to end in tragedy but also destined to become the great queer love story of colonial Australia.
In A Darker Shade of Moonlite, Craig Cormick places himself in the mind of one of Moonlite’s gang to bring the world of the notorious bushranger and his young gang to life.
A Darker Shade of Moonlite has attracted high praise including from Thomas Keneally, Booker Prize winner and author of The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith and Schindler’s Ark.
“This playful amble through the tale of a renowned bushranger is a charming narrative and, better than most bushranger tales, one that is disarming and subtle.”
A Darker Shade of Moonlite and other Queer Oz Folk publications are available from Hares and Hyenas and New International Bookshop in Melbourne, The Bookshop Darlinghurst or by asking at any bookshop.
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