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Australian, Historical

Old Times October – The Devil’s Own

I love the story of the Batavia.  The devil’s own (1990) by Deborah Lisson is a time slip novel written in third person narrative about wrecking of the Batavia in the 1600s. The main character, Julie, is 15 years old and having an awful time on her family sailing holiday. Through a series of events Julie finds herself on the Albrohos Islands with the mutinous crew.  The value of the time slip in this novel for young adults is that they share values and view events from a similar perspective to Julie and this helps the connection with the past. Thus, while time slip itself is more fantasy than historical, the history in this novel dominates the time slip rather than the reverse and Julie’s values (our values) digest and reflect on the gruesome and mutinous story.  Indeed, the time slip element is so weak in that only the last two pages are solely focussed on Julie’s return to her own time and even then leave the reader wondering was it only a dream?   I always recommend that students read  Gary Crew’s Strange Objects (1990) after The Devil’s Own as it crosses horror with history and is also concerned with the sinking of the Batavia and her treasures. They should then consider finishing with Fitzsimon’s Batavia

About hgtl

I am a secondary English/History teacher (BA DipEd, MA (Education) and a Teacher Librarian (MEd). I LOVE to research and through this site aim to -Support the introduction of the Australian Curriculum (especially in History) through sourcing quality and varied internet based sources (research guides) - Support teachers through conducting education based literature reviews - Provide suggestions on useful Web 2.0 tools - Offer other services such as curriculum writing, library collection assessment, novel recommendations (see my blog


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