The Courteous Savage
Yagan of Swan River
by Mary Durack, Illustrated by Elizabeth Durack
Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1964 [First Edition], in text illustrations throughout, hardcover, dustjacket,
Very Good Condition, previous owners award plate on front flyleaf, mild foxing and some marks on front flyleaves, markings on dustjacket, minor tears and bumps to dustjacket (see photographs)
'Yagan, an Australian aboriginal tribesman whose people dwelt about the Swan River in south-western Australia, became a legend in his own lifetime. He was known as 'the black Robin Hood', and as 'this strange, vindictive, but always courteous savage'; he inspired both fear and respect among the white people.
His story is that of many a tribal leader whose homeland was invaded by new settlers. He and his people welcomed with joy the first white men to come rowing up their river one spring morning in 1827. But the early friendship could not last. Although he was always ready with a kindly gesture towards his new white friends,Yagan was the first to fight for the rights of his people when he say these threatened by the newcomers. And he was first to carry out the harsh age-old tribal law that demanded a life for a life. Conflict was inevitable. In the biography of Yagan of Swan River one can read the moving story of a truly 'noble savage.''