Historical information

This book contains selections of the convict stories written by Price Warung, 1864-1911(real name William Astley). He was a journalist and writer who worked for a great number of newspapers throughout Australia and began an important association with the Sydney ‘Bulletin’ in 1890. In this period he write the powerful works for which he is best known, ‘Convict Days’, a series of four volumes of stories about Australia’s convict system. The major theme of these writings is the sordid nature of the convict system. Astley became heavily involved in the Federation campaign, firstly as the Secretary of the Bathurst Federal League and then as the organizing Secretary of the 1896 Bathurst Convention. This Convention is considered by historians to have given the Federation campaign a new and vigorous vitality. In 1898 Astley wrote most of the official articles publishing the ‘Yes’ case for the Federation referendum. In 1883 Astley was in Warrnambool, working as a journalist for the Warrnambool Standard newspaper and examples of his journalism can be found in the papers of this time. He wrote lengthy reports in a free-flowing and attractive but verbose style. His two articles on the well-known horse stud and hop farm called ‘Bryan O’Lynn’ appeared in the Standard in October 1884.


This book is of considerable interest as it was written by Price Warung (William Astley). Not only is he of importance in Australia’ history but also he has his place in Warrnambool’s history as a journalist for the Warrnambool Standard in the 1880s.

Physical description

This is a hard cover book of 206 pages. The cover is grey with pink lettering on the spine. The dust cover is white with a black, white and red sketch of a convict on the front and a black and white photograph of the author and his biography on the back cover. The book contains an Introduction and thirteen stories by Price Warung. The dust cover is a little stained and torn.