About the Book
Tom Pow's beautiful, powerful poems examine the remarkable life of Thomas Watling. Watling was born in Dumfries in September 1762 and raised by a long-suffering maiden aunt. Convicted of forging Bank of Scotland one-guinea notes he was sentenced to fourteen years in the recently founded colony of Botany Bay in Australia.
The first professional artist to arrive in the colony, Watling was seconded to its Surgeon General (and amateur naturalist) John White. His pioneer paintings of birds, animals and the landscape became some of the principal records of the earliest days of Australia. He was eventually pardoned, on 5 April 1797, and left Australia, eventually returning home to Dumfries. He died there, most likely in 1814.
Tom Pow is an award-winning writer and poet. From 2001 to 2003 he was the first writer in residence at the Edinburgh International Books Festival and he was Writer in Residence at the National Library of Scotland in 2013. His books for children in include Callum’s Big Day and Who Is The World For?, which won the Scottish Arts Council’s Children’s Book of the Year (2001).