Pendragon – The life of George Isaacs, colonial wordsmith

Going right back to the day I first came across Queenie the elephant – on the zoo website on September, 4, 2001, I made contact with Anne Black, an Education Officer at the Melbourne Zoo. From the beginning Anne helped, supported and advised me, directing me to the Public Record Office Victoria where I found a sea of information about Queenie and the zoo. Without Anne, my first picture book, Queenie: One Elephant’s Story would never have been.

Then, more than ten years ago, Anne found her own story to write, that of George Isaacs, her husband’s great-great-great grandfather.

Pendragon is Anne’s debut book which began with a tiptoe into a family tree, became a thesis (so now she is Dr. Anne Black) and on June 1st it was released as a fascinating book.

‘As an inaugural study, Pendragon: The life of George Isaacs, colonial wordsmith contributes a valuable strand to the knowledge of Australian colonial literature. On a more intimate level, it is a paradigm of a colonial scribe – a case study of one immigrant’s struggles to live as a writer in colonial Australia.’

I have just finished reading Pendragon. What an enormous accomplishment. So much detail, so much research and such superb writing. I enjoyed every single page.

What was really special for me was that every so often I’d read a line or incident Anne had spoken to me about – like she shared with me how much she’s come to admire George and feel such empathy for him or the frustration of not being able to find a photo.

With just a few sprinkles of fate turning the right way, for this wordsmith, he could have achieved so much more.

It’s a superb read.

Pendragon is now available for order or purchase at your local bookshop, online, or directly from the publisher Wakefield Press:

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