When Sid Kidman brings his family to England for a year's holiday in 1908, he is fifty-one and already the biggest private landowner the world has ever seen. BIGFELLA KIDMAN is the first book in a much longer story called THE SONG OF THE BUTCHER BIRD, and they both begin when Sid had been in London for six months. By that time the real Australian Cattle King had become something of a celebrity, partly because of his height and his distinctive wide-brimmed hat, partly because of his outspoken newspaper interviews, and partly because his preferred way of getting around the city was to climb aboard a two-horse bus and tip the driver to let him take the reins. Sid also believed in the principle that everyone deserves a fair go. At home, he was one of a small minority of white colonialists who extended this principle to the Aborigines, and their disgraceful treatment is one of the themes of this story. In London, Sid admired the horsemanship of the horse-bus drivers as much as he respected the bushcraft of the blackfellas, and in BIGFELLA KIDMAN he makes an open, front page offer of jobs in Australia for the hundreds of horse-bus drivers who were losing their livelihoods to the London General's new-fangled red motorbuses. He also attracts the attention of one of Britain's most powerful financiers, who invites the Kidmans to his country house and offers Sid a deal that could double the Cattle King's outback empire almost overnight. There are long strings attached to Lord Saltwood's investment proposal, and Bel Kidman advises her impetuous husband not to touch it with a bargepole. But Sid cannot resist the deal or the challenge that comes with it, and his agreement, like his job offer to the horse-bus drivers, will turn the lives of all the main characters in BIGFELLA KIDMAN upside down, whitefellas and blackfellas, on both sides of the world. BIGFELLA KIDMAN is available in paperback in UK bookshops, and in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon worldwide.


Register | Lost your password?