Moondyne is an 1879 novel by John Boyle O'Reilly, which was made into a film of the same name in 1913. It is very loosely based on the life of the Western Australian convict escapee and bushranger Moondyne Joe.
John Boyle O'Reilly was a Fenian revolutionary who was transported as a convict to Western Australia. During his time in Western Australia's penal system he would have heard many stories of Moondyne Joe's exploits, although it almost certain that the two men never met. After only thirteen months in Western Australia, O'Reilly escaped the colony on board the American whaling ship Gazelle. On arrival in America he settled in Boston, where he established himself as a respected journalist, newspaper editor, novelist and poet.
Moondyne Joe is a convict who escapes after being victimised and mistreated by a cruel penal system. While on the run he is befriended by indigenous Australians who share with him their secret of a huge gold mine. Joe uses his new-found wealth to return to England and become a respected humanitarian under the assumed name Wyville. Recognised as possessing expertise in penal reform, he is ultimately sent back to Western Australia to help reform the colony's penal system. In the course of this he becomes involved in several subplots including the case of a young woman named Alice Walmsley who has been wrongly convicted of murdering her own child. Wyville/Moondyne succeeds in saving Alice from false imprisonment, helps to reform Western Australia's penal system, and achieves a number of other admirable ends before dying in an attempt to save the life of the story's villain, Isaac Bowman.
|Author||John Boyle O'Reilly|
|Publisher||P. J. Kennedy|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
The novel Moondyne originally appeared as a serial in O'Reilly's newspaper The Pilot in 1878, under the title Moondyne Joe. Applauded by critics, it was published and republished under a variety of titles including:
- Moondyne Joe: A Story from the Underworld
- Moondyne: A Tale of Convict Life in Western Australia
- Moondyne: A Story of Life in West Australia
- Moondyne: An Australian Tale
- Moondyne, or, The Mystery of Mr Wyville
- The Golden Secret, or Bond and Free
- The Moondyne
- A Tale of Bush and Convict Life
- An Múindín (Irish-language translation, 1931).
Advertisement for film
|Directed by||W. J. Lincoln|
|Written by||John Boyle O'Reilly
|Based on||novel by John Boyle O'Reilly|
|Release dates||1 September 1913|
|Running time||3,000 feet|
In 1848, convict Joe is assigned as a labourer to settled Isaac Bowman in Western Australia. Joe escapes and takes refuge with a tribe of aborigines led by Te Mana Roa, who tell him about a mountain of gold.
Bowman recaptures Joe, who tells him about the mine. Bowman goes to the mine, kills the king and loads his horse with gold, but ends up perishing in the desert, leaving Joe with his aboriginal friends.
The film was shot in an around Melbourne.
- Ashton, Susanna M. (Spring 2002). "O'Reilly and the Moondyne". History Ireland 10 (1): 38–42.
- Since 2002, an edited and annotated edition of Moondyne has been available online through University College Cork's Corpus of Electronic Texts (CELT). See especially the Preamble.
- Copyright documentation relating to script at National Archives of Australia
- Mary Bateman, 'Lincoln Cass Filmography', Cinema Papers, June-July 1980 p 175
- "ENTERTAINMENTS.". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) (Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia). 6 September 1913. p. 20. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
- "Advertising.". Williamstown Chronicle (Vic. : 1856 - 1954) (Vic.: National Library of Australia). 4 October 1913. p. 5. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
- "Advertising.". Williamstown Chronicle (Vic. : 1856 - 1954) (Vic.: National Library of Australia). 4 October 1913. p. 6. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
- ""MOONDYNE".". Williamstown Chronicle (Vic. : 1856 - 1954) (Vic.: National Library of Australia). 4 October 1913. p. 4. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- "Moondyne (1913)". Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Retrieved 9 June 2006.
- O'Reilly, John Boyle (1878). The Moondyne. Melbourne: George Robertson Publications.