Tasmania passes down its convict history with well known historic sites, a large collection of relics and colonial era items shown in museums, direct family connections with many of today’s Tasmanians able to trace lineage to intact ‘criminal and transport’ records – although many of the offences seem trivial now.
Books and plays complete this rich tapestry and none is better known than Marcus Clarke’s classic Australian novel, ‘For the Term Of His Natural Life’, which over 130 years and never been out of print. It has taken the form of a magazine serial, a novel and three feature films (1908, 1911 and 1927), and the popular record-rating six-hour mini-series.
Tasmania’s longest running play ‘The Ship That Never Was‘ plays daily in Strahan. Based on a real event in 1834 when the last ship built at the convict settlement at Macquarie Harbour was about to sail for the new prison at Port Arthur and was hijacked by 10 convict shipwrights.
Completing the ways modern folk can delve into this history is the latest version of Marcus Clarke’s work – ‘For the Term of His Natural Life’ iPad App. Patricia Payne (Producer of the mini-series) has now released an ground breaking interactive eBook app for the iPad, which features a 300-page condensed version of the novel interspersed with segments of the highly-acclaimed international T.V. mini-series.
Presenting a seamless and gripping story-telling experience, bridging the gap between three forms of media: film, literature, and an interactive tablet application, the reader’s experience is enriched by over 40 interactive footnotes, 19 video notes, bios, and over 100 photos, maps, bonus song, and historical documents.
Progressing the story and woven throughout the text are 18 video clips including some from the original 1927 silent film based on the book!
There is also a informative web site to explore.