Justin Cahill

Biography

Welcome to my Smashwords profile.

I am a New Zealand-born writer, based in Sydney. My main interests are nature and history.

My thesis was on the negotiations between the British and Chinese governments over the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997. It was used as a source in Dr John Wong’s Deadly Dreams: Opium, Imperialism and the Arrow War (1856-1860) in China, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998, the standard work on that conflict.

I wrote a column on the natural history of the Wolli Creek Valley for the Earlwood News (sadly, now defunct) between 1992 and 1998.

My short biography of the leading Australian ornithologist, Alfred North (1855-1917), was published in 1998.

I write regular reviews on books about history for my blog,’ Justin Cahill Reviews’ and Booktopia. I’m also a regular contributor to the Sydney Morning Herald's 'Heckler' column.

My current projects include completing the first history of European settlement in Australia and New Zealand told from the perspective of ordinary people and a study of the extinction of Sydney’s native birds.

After much thought, I decided to make my work available on Smashwords. Australia and New Zealand both have reasonably healthy print publishing industries. But, like it or not, the future lies with digital publishing.

So I’m grateful to Mark Coker for having the vision to establish Smashwords and for the opportunity to distribute my work on it.

Where to find Justin Cahill online


Books

Five Clare Families: A Memoir of the McMahons, Hennessys, Killeens, Cahills and Lawlors of County Clare
By
Price: Free! Words: 12,100. Language: English. Published: October 19, 2014. Category: Nonfiction » History » European
This is a short account of five families that lived in and around the Newmarket-on-Fergus district in County Clare from the 1880s to the 1930s. While researching family history in Ireland presents some challenges, it is not as difficult as is often made out. This work provides a practical guide to the available sources and example of how to present the results of your research.
Notes from a Small Valley A Natural History of Wolli Creek I Prehistory
By
Price: Free! Words: 11,690. Language: English. Published: October 16, 2014. Category: Nonfiction » Science and Nature » Nature
This is part one of an introduction to the natural history of Sydney's Wolli Creek Valley. The Valley contains the last substantial remnants of the natural environment in the city's inner south-west. Part I, ‘Prehistory’, gives an account of the Valley’s geological history, its fossil record and human occupation before 1788.
The Failure of Industrialisation and Imperialism to Develop in Imperial China
By
Price: $1.00 USD. Words: 7,480. Language: English. Published: October 16, 2014. Category: Nonfiction » History » Asian
Imperial China was one of the richest, most cultured and powerful states in history. Why it did not pass through an industrial revolution or secure itself an empire remains unresolved. This account of the scholarly debate on these questions concludes its Confucian ethos may provide the answer.
Epitome for Eleanor: A Short History of the Known Universe: I. The Big Bang to the Bronze Age
By
Price: Free! Words: 28,020. Language: English. Published: May 18, 2014. Category: Nonfiction » History » History of things
From the formation of our galaxy and solar system to the emergence of life and the first civilisations, Epitome for Eleanor is a short history of the known Universe for children. Part I covers the period from the Big Bang to the Bronze Age.
The Johnston and Hamilton Families of Crear: A Memoir of Two Argyll Families
By
Price: Free! Words: 5,630. Language: English. Published: April 23, 2014. Category: Nonfiction » History » Family history
Bessie Johnston, my great-grandmother, came from Crear in Argyll, not far from the Mull of Kintyre. When she came to New Zealand as a war bride, almost all contact with her family in Scotland was lost. Bessie's family cut her off and she died, tragically young, in 1922. For almost 80 years, the Johnston connection remained a mystery. This is how it was solved.
A New Life in our History: the settlement of Australia and New Zealand: volume II Paradise Found ? (1830s to 1890s)
By
Price: $10.00 USD. Words: 62,220. Language: English. Published: April 23, 2014. Category: Nonfiction » History » Australia & New Zealand
This is the second part of A New Life in Our History, a history of Australia and New Zealand told from the perspective of ordinary people. By the 1830s, reformers opposed to transportation were promoting a more enlightened solution to Britain’s social and economic difficulties: systematic colonisation. Paradise Found traces the experiences of some families who helped build them in New Zealand.
The Question of Sovereignty: A Study of Chinese and British Negotiating Positions with Regard to the Colonisation and Decolonisation of Hong Kong
By
Price: Free! Words: 26,280. Language: English. Published: April 8, 2014. Category: Nonfiction » History » Asian
This is a study of the collision of Britain's 'imperialism of free trade' with China's sovereignty over Hong Kong from the time of the Colony's occupation in 1842 to the signing of the Joint Declaration in 1984.
A New Life in our History: the settlement of Australia and New Zealand: volume I The Fatal Shore ? (1780s to 1830s)
By
Price: $10.00 USD. Words: 64,890. Language: English. Published: April 1, 2014. Category: Nonfiction » History » Australia & New Zealand
A New Life in our History is the first account of the settlement of Australian and New Zealand told from the perspective of ordinary people. Volume I, The Fatal Shore ? (1780s to 1830s) follows the arrest of Solomon Bockerah and his transportation to Sydney on the notorious Second Fleet and the spectacular rise and fall of the emancipist Sydney merchant, John Laurie.
Introducing the Birds of Wolli Creek
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 10,650. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2014. Category: Nonfiction » Science and Nature » Life Sciences / Zoology / Ornithology
This is a short, up-to-date account to the birds found along Wolli Creek, the last substantial remnant of the natural environment in Sydney's inner south-west. It is written for those new to the Valley and interested in its natural history.
Birds of Western Wolli Creek: A case study in local extinction
By
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 42,490. Language: English. Published: November 7, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Science and Nature » Life Sciences / Zoology / Ornithology
This is a study of the birds found in the western part of the Wolli Creek Valley, about 8km from Sydney's CDB. It also serves as a case study of the increasing localised extinction of native birds in Sydney. This development, which has received little media attention, mirrors broader loss of native birds across south-eastern Australia.
Alfred John North: In Justice and Fairness to Myself
By
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 12,810. Language: English. Published: October 31, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Biography » Historical biography
Alfred John North was one of Australia's pioneer ornithologists. He was the author of Nests and Eggs of Birds Found Breeding in Australia and Tasmania (1901-1914), which remains a standard reference work today. While often maligned by his critics, the discovery of North's diary and private papers show him to have been a scientist of the highest calibre.
Romance of the Three Rivers
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 10,080. Language: English. Published: October 21, 2013. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
A big city lawyer, Mark seems to have it all. But the money and prestige can no longer hide his disillusion with practice. With Kate, his new love interest, he escapes to New Zealand’s famous Routeburn Track. There, he sets out on a new life - with help from some unexpected friends.