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Painting the Islands Vermillion: Archibald Watson The Brig `Carl'.

Jennifer M. T. Carter, Painting the Islands Vermillion: Archibald Watson and the Brig `Carl', Melbourne, Melbourne University Press, 1999; ISBN 0522 84853 2; 279 pp; hardback; RRP $45.00.

Archibald Watson sailed on the Melbourne brig Carl during her 1871-72 voyage, a voyage primarily for the purpose of slave-trading in the South Pacific Islands although some of those present denied knowledge of this intention until the first kidnapping of Islanders. Watson fled to Europe to escape prosecution over the expedition. While in Europe he studied medicine before returning to Australia in 1885 to take up the position of Elder Chair of Anatomy at the University of Adelaide in South Australia. In following years his actions and mistresses scandalised the Australian medical community while he struggled with his own demons. Archibald Watson was a celebrated Australian surgeon, anatomist and professor, and this book seeks to sort out fact from fiction, and uncover the truth about his actions on board the Carl and the efforts to preserve the reputation of a man known for his great kindnesses and yet often intensely disliked within his own profession. At the same time it contributes further understanding to one of the darker episodes in Australia's past.
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Publication:Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society
Date:Dec 1, 2000
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