Showdown at the Red Lion: The Life and Times of Jack McLoughlin 1859-1910

Showdown at the Red Lion traces the global career, the life and times of the criminal and murderer Jack McLoughlin (1859-1910) in South Africa.
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Title: Showdown at the Red Lion
Subtitle: The Life and Times of Jack McLoughlin 1859-1910
Author: Charles van Onselen
Genre: Biography
Publisher: Jonathan Ball Publishers
Johannesburg; Cape Town, South Africa 2015
ISBN 9781868426225 / ISBN 978-1-86842-622-5
Softcover, 16 x 24 cm, 515 pages, several b/w photographs


Among the flood tide of emigrants who left the British isles for the 'Southern world' of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand in the later 19th century were many thousands of young men who relied on their muscle and native wit to make a living. Not a few were from criminal backgrounds in the warrens of industrial Britain, or had left after a brush with the law at home. Here Charles van Onselen brilliantly evokes this darker underside of the great emigration, the restless, transient, unsettled lives of young men without homes or attachments, wandering from continent to continent in new and ill-policed societies. Drawing on amass of archival and other contemporary sources, he traces the ordinary/extraordinary life of Jack McLoughlin, from his family's origins in famine-stricken Donegal, to the industrial slums of Victorian Manchester (and its prisons), and the casual employments and criminal opportunities of gold-rush South Africa and Australia. McLoughlin's criminal career, and its unhappy end, make a gripping story, but in van Onselen's hands they also illuminate the human desperation that accompanied what we sometimes think of as the great age of imperialism. This is a marvellous addition to the social history of empire.

Content: Showdown at the Red Lion. The Life and Times of Jack McLoughlin 1859-1910

List of maps
Dystopia's Militants, 1859-1910
Deep Code: Old Erin, c 1800-1850
The Codes Adapted: Field to Factory, Manchester, 1850
The Family: Seeds and Weeds, Ancoats, 1850-1875
The Makings of the Man: An Ancoats Youth, 1850-1880
Criminal Cousins: Economic Survival and Social Capital, Ancoats, 1875-1880
Escape into Empire:The Voyage of the Albatross, 1880-1881
Among Legends and Myths of the Bush, Australia, 1882-1886
The Southern African Mineral Revolution and the College of Banditry, 1886
The Frontiers of Gold and Beyond: Eureka City and Delagoa Bay, 1886-1887
Organised Crime in a Frontier Town:Johannesburg, the Kruger State and the Depression of 1889-1892
Metamorphosis: To Potchefstroom and Back, 1890
Humiliation and Rage: A Mind and Body Imprisoned, Johannesburg and Pretoria, 1891-1892
Regaining Caste:Johannesburg Rising, 1892-1893
The Lures of Domesticity: Marriages of Inconvenience, Johannesburg, 1893
Retreat to the New Frontiers: Matabeleland and Vendaland, 1894
The Grammar of Justice: Honour and Death, Johannesburg, 1895
The Spectres of Success: Johannesburg to Lourenco Marques, 1895
The Reality of Failure: India, 1895
The Imperial Eye Averted: Auckland, New Zealand, 1895-1896
Courting Solitude: Auckland to Christchurch, 1896-1900
The Great Walkabout: Australia, 1901-1904
The Fatal Circuit: Australia, New Zealand, Australia, 1904-1909
The Tinker's Curse: Brisbane to Durban, 1908
Courts and Contexts: Men and Mindsets, Johannesburg, 1909
The Trial: Johannesburg, 1909
Death: Pretoria, 1909
A note on sources
Select bibliography