by William Charles McKinnon • 176 pages
INSPIRED BY THE 1833 MURDER of John Flahaven and the triple hanging of two men and Flahaven's wife in the rowdy wharf world of Sydney Harbour, this 1850 novel stands out as raw, imaginative and entertaining—a glimpse into 19th-century rooms and lives, for people who love rich, inventive language and a gripping, heroic story of bloodlust and love.
And the novel includes two essays: (1) Gwendolyn Davies' fascinating biography of the author, and (2) the true story of "The Flahaven Murder," by Cape Breton historian Jonathan G. MacKinnon.
In his short, vigorous life, William Charles McKinnon was the courageous editor of three Cape Breton newspapers, and a successful novelist. He fearlessly found a voice in the Boston literary world. Then he became a Methodist minister and tried to burn his "evil" novels. He died at 33—after a life as romantic and passionate as any of his characters.