Harry Heathcote of Gangoil

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Anthony Trollope

Narrated By: Peter Joyce

Publisher: Assembled Stories

Date: January 2007

Duration: 4 hours 20 minutes

Summary:

"He was too imperious, too masterful, too much inclined to think that all things should be made to go as he would have them." Thus Trollope describes his hero Harry Heathcote, a settler and sheep farmer in the untamed bush of Australia in 1871. However, Harry has made enemies. In seeking always to act in the honourable fashion he cannot bend and embrace the weaknesses of others. A group of ex-convicts and disgruntled ex-employees threaten to burn his land and ruin him. Harry fights to protect his family and all he has worked for, despite his fears and self doubt and the apparent recalcitrance of a neighbour, Medlicot, a 'Free Selector' from the home country. Will his problems be resolved? Will he learn from his experiences? - Well this is a Christmas story!

Genres:

  • Cynthia Becht

    Wonderful Trollope "Christmas" story set in roughly lived Australia, a locale far far from his usual well-manicured England. The tone shares more in common with the American western genre and Trollope is remarkably good, with his usual vividly drawn characters. The plight of "squatters" -- early English settlers who had created working sheep or other ranches -- confronted by "free selectors" -- late arriving English settlers encouraged by new English laws to buy land legally out from under the established ranchers made for tense neighbor relations. Trollope explores this with his angry and rugged very young sheep rancher Harry, who perceives enemies all around him with a gentlemanly free settler neighbor, a trouble-making squatter family of low repute, and rebellious workers bearing their master a grudge. The constant threat of man-made fires set in a crackling dry landscape adds to the tense story. Amid the roughness Trollope manages to insert a lovely little romantic side story and come up with a satisfying holiday spirited ending. Loved it! Narrator Peter Joyce narrates the story with forceful energy that conveys the hero's personality quite well; I only found his character voices of grizzled elderly characters to be a bit difficult to understand- a little over acted for my taste - but these are tiny moments in an otherwise magnificent audio adventure.