Alias Blind Larry: The Mostly True Memoir of James Laurence The Singing ConvictBy Rob Wills
Alias Blind Larry is a convict story, an adventure story, a colonial story, a Jewish story, a theatrical story. A story of cruelty, resilience, cheek and humour, and it is (mostly) true. Born in London in 1793, the son of a poor diamond cutter, young James Laurence travelled to Jamaica, the USA and Canada, clerking, acting, impersonating, singing, forging and defrauding before he was transported to NSW in 1814 for jewel theft. He served time in every penal settlement in NSW, singing and thieving when he was free. He wrote his memoir on Norfolk Island in 1842, just before his release. Then even more adventures followed. A fascinating piece of history, untold until now. Through the narrative of Laurence's life, Alias Blind Larry re-creates a whole period of history.