Three Years with Monckton by William Monckton, 1905 Fiction
Supposedly the memoir of Thunderbolt’s accomplice, William Monckton, this is largely a fictional account written by the editor, Ambrose Platt, as is evident from the title (Monckton bushranged with Thunderbolt for less than a year) as well as the contents and the amount of dialogue included.
Police history of the notorious bushrangers of NSW & Victoria
by Martin Brennan, c1910 (unpublished) Fiction/Fact
Written by a police inspector during his retirement, this “police history” – which, notably, includes vast amounts of dialogue and no source references – is primarily sourced in anecdote which sometimes tallies remarkably with and seems to expand upon official records, but sometimes varies alarmingly. The difficulty lies in determining if the expanded information is elaboration or invention.
The truth about Thunderbolt
by Annie Rixon, 1940 (and its later incarnations) Fiction
Claiming that Thunderbolt was in fact Frederick Britten rather than Frederick Ward, this work – which, notably, also abounds in dialogue – bears little relation at all to the truth.
A Ghost called Thunderbolt
by Stephan Williams, 1987 Non-fiction
This work, which contains source-references within the text itself, is one of the better publications about Thunderbolt although it still contains many errors.
by Bob Cummins, 1988 Non-fiction
This work, which contains source references at the back of the book, is the only Thunderbolt work that provides a detailed examination of the historical backdrop. In its description of Thunderbolt’s activities, however, the text contains a significant number of errors.
by Jim Hobden, 1988 Non-fiction
This work, which contains source-reference annotations throughout the text with the references themselves published as endnotes, is one of the better Thunderbolt publications although it still contains numerous errors.
Captain Thunderbolt: horsebreaker to bushranger
by David Brouwer, 2007 Non-fiction
This book contains both a bibliography and source-reference annotations (endnotes), however more than 80% of the annotations refer to published works about Thunderbolt rather than original records, and a large proportion of these references are to information extracted from Monckton and Brennan’s works (mentioned above), which are both assessed as largely fictional.
NB. In a recent communication, David advised that the errors have been corrected in the page proofs for a new edition of his book, so this review will be updated when the new edition is republished.
Thunderbolt: Scourge of the Ranges
by G James Hamilton with Barry Sinclair, 2009 Fiction
Not only do the authors themselves state in their Cataloguing-in-Publication classification on the back-title page that this self-published book is a work of ‘historical fiction’, the book’s contents bear out the authors’ classification. “Fantasy” is probably the most accurate description.
See Review (coming)