The Mystery of the Handsome Man: The Double Life of John Lempriere Irvine (Queer Oz Folk Volume 1)

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Ranging from the convict settlement of Port Arthur, to the social heights of colonial Tasmanian Society, the goldrush towns of Ballarat and Bendigo, and the ballrooms of Marvellous Melbourne in the 1880s, this stranger-than-fiction book recounts the strange-but-true story of JL Irvine (1847-?). Banker, sporting champion, bon vivant, clubman, committee member, and friend to the colonial elites of Tasmania and Victoria, he was also a man with a secret; a secret that would occasionally lead him into the half-light of the Victorian underworld, and a secret that would ultimately lead to his downfall, disgrace, and disappearance.

Meticulously researched, written in a lively and engaging manner and lavishly illustrated, this is the story of colonial Australian society, both its glittering heights and its shadowy depths.

Author: Wayne Murdoch

Paperback  Published January 2021  248 pages

'A cautionary tale of the costs of being different in earlier times... an intriguing life, fully lived.'

Garry Wotherspoon, author of Through the Gay Looking Glass: The Many Lives of Clive Madigan.

'An invaluable, meticulously-researched account of a queer life lost too long to historians.'

Lucy Sussex, author of Blockbuster: Fergus Hume and the Mystery of the Hansom Cab

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