William Gosse Hay (1875–1945) was a victim of his times. Son of a wealthy pastoralist, his early ‘exile’ to Trinity College, Cambridge, created a lifelong tension in his relationship with his own country. Thanks to his inherited wealth and status, contemporary critics by and large overlooked his literary work, deeming the writings of struggling authors more worthy. Hay’s six novels are stirring tales of noble heroes struggling to maintain moral honour in convict-era Tasmania. His unfinished work, ‘The Return of Robert Wasterton’, is a fascinating examination of his own times and experiences, set in 1890s Victor Harbor.
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