I've just finished reading this book. Very well researched, but oh what a struggle it became to read!
It was interesting up until Chapter 7 'The Convict Stigma'; which is about about half-way through. From there onwards, it delved into the history of perceptions - perceptions of convicts, perceptions of people with convicts in their family, perceptions by Tasmanians of themselves and the 'stain' that a convict hsitory had on society. Often repetitive, Chapters 7 -14 conveyed no real sense of direction. The book just became a longish documention of the history of different views and phases over time, with too much analysis (for me) of various contemporary histories and novels.
Perhaps a better title would have been "A History and Analysis of the Convict Stigma in Tasmania".
I kept thinking, as I was reading, that maybe Alison Alexandra's next book might tackle a similar subject emanating from petty jealousies, snobbery and extreme ignorance, such as Canberra-bashing, or the city vs country debate.
If you're interested in reading about the stigma of the convict episode, this is for you.