Review of Convict Words: Language in Early Colonial Australia, by Amanda Laugesen, and Chain Letters: Narrating Convict Lives, edited by Lucy Frost and Hamish Maxwell-Stewart
What makes these two books on convictism complement one another so well is their shared concern with the power of words. This may be an unsurprising statement in relation to Amanda Laugesen's book, a dictionary from those indefatigable monitors of Australian linguistic habits, the Australian National Dictionary Centre. Convict Words will be warmly welcomed by colonial historians, scholars of colonial writing, and general readers alike for its informative and well-researched entries on the development of a language of convictism. As the ninth addition to the Australian National Dictionary Centre's book list, the tardiness of this volume is somewhat curious, given the importance of convict experience in popular narratives of Australian history.
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Cite as: Bremer, Anette. ‘Review of Convict Words: Language in Early Colonial Australia, by Amanda Laugesen, and Chain Letters: Narrating Convict Lives, edited by Lucy Frost and Hamish Maxwell-Stewart.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 21, no. 3, 2004, doi: 10.20314/als.811e110e63.