As a British soldier who fought against Napoleon, William Buckley served capably and truly but a drunken escapade led to his transportation to a short-lived settlement in Australia, and once there to his daring escape from custody and thirty years of isolation among the First People of the region, who saved and sheltered him.
Known to his saviours as ‘Murrangurk’, Buckley learnt their language and forgot his own. He lived as they did and would later record invaluably his understanding of their customs and traditions.
When eventually Europeans returned and conflict between them and the First People flared, Buckley was at the heart of the tumult. He tried to mediate and courageously stopped three massacres, but soon found himself disregarded by the antagonists and dangerously compromised.
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