On Roads Most Travelled - an Irish-Australian Historical Novel
A "factional" story of humour, struggle, strength of character and determination to overcome adversity; demonstrated by the Slavien’s and Reillys as they faced the challenges of life in Ireland early Nineteenth Century. And perhaps just as challenging, life in the new colony of New South Wales, Australia. Based on known and officially recorded facts surrounding the Slavien and Reilly family. More
This is a story of humour, struggle and determination to overcome adversity, as it may have been told by Annie. The writer bases Annie’s memories on known and officially recorded facts surrounding the Slavien and Reilly family. The story covers the period of the early Nineteenth Century when Annie’s parents lived in Connemara, Ireland and Ned Reilly’s family were in Tyrone, Ireland. The story then continues on through the latter Nineteenth Century in Australia where Annie and Ned marry, travel through the bush to settle in northern New South Wales and raise their family of ten children.
Some dates and places recorded in official records in the early Nineteenth Century are vague and vary according to version of recorded history. Therefore, the writer has taken liberties for the purposes of the telling of the story. The writer’s mother, Florence May Allen (nee Bender), has provided other information that has been passed down from family members. The story is based on these sources and is written, not only for the entertainment and enjoyment of all, but to inform and bring to life the characters mentioned in the writer’s ancestral family tree, to be left as a legacy for generations to follow.
The names of the Slavien and Reilly family are factual, as are dates to the best ability of the writer. Most other characters are fictional, used only to assist the flow of the story. Events and happenings are based on researched fact of the times, or mentioned in Flo Allen’s memoirs and hearsay of her ancestral family.
The story is one of strength of character and determination demonstrated by the Slavien’s and Reillys as they faced the challenges of life in Ireland early Nineteenth Century. And perhaps just as challenging, life in the new colony of New South Wales, Australia. The story not only personifies the men folk’s ability to cope, but the strength, in particular, of the women that worked and stood alongside of their men.
The writer’s direct female ancestral line goes from Rosanna O’Mally, Rosa Slavien, Annie Reilly and Sarah Bender to Florence Allen, her late mother. This story acknowledges the physical hard work and endured challenges faced by all these ladies during their respective lifetimes.
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