Thursday, 16 April 2015

The pull of celebrity

Born in Co. Kildare, the notorious pickpocket George Barrington (1755-1804) was described by the London Chronicle as “the genteelest thief ever remembered at the Old Bailey”. Following his conviction in 1790, he was transported to Botany Bay. His authorship of this account of the colony has, however, been disputed and it was likely that Barrington’s continuing popularity prompted publishers to append his celebrity status to the publication in order to boost sales back in Britain.

An account of a voyage to New South Wales. (London : M. Jones and Sherwood, Neely & Jones, 1810)

If you would like to view the spotlight exhibition, or to consult material in this vein, please contact the staff of the Special Collections Reading Room in the Hardiman Research Building at
A spotlight exhibition can also be viewed on the digital display wall in the Hardiman Foyer during the month of April.

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