An Impact Press book
Published: 1 April 2019
ISBN ePUB: 978-1-920727-37-6
Categories: Australian Historical Fiction
Robert Westphal is a passionate historian and spent much time researching his ancestry for this novel. He is a descendant of the Foster and O’Neil families. By day, Robert works as a non-executive director of a major Sydney-based investment firm, and an avid coffee roaster and distributor. He was previously a partner at Ernst and Young for 25 years. He currently lives in Mosman with his wife, and has two daughters and four grandchildren. The Tailor and the Shipwright is his first novel.
The Tailor and the Shipwright
A tale of two convicts and the generations that followed
Sydney, Australia 1800s.
Thomas O’Neil, an Irish convict and tailor, arrives in Sydney having left his two daughters on the shores of Dublin. Appointed as Governor King’s tailor, O’Neil establishes a successful business in Upper Pitts Row and soon finds a wife, Anne Kennedy. They are to be among the first settlers of Mosman, along with their daughter.
Two years later, 12-year-old William Foster disembarks from an eight-month journey from Portsmouth after avoiding his death sentence. Governor King, horrified that young boys are being transported, offers William the position of shipwright apprentice. He quickly moves up the ranks and starts a successful business in The Rocks. Eventually, William falls for O’Neil’s young daughter, Anastasia, and the two begin a life together.
Inspired by extensive research into his own ancestry of the O’Neil and Foster families, Robert Westphal gives a unique historical account of convict history and early Sydney. The Tailor and the Shipwright is a compelling read of resilience that depicts the strength of generational ties.