Adelaide, Rigby, 1973.
Octavo, [x], 312 pages plus 27 plates.
Papered boards; a fine copy with the fine dustwrapper.
The notorious rape-murder trial involving Rupert Maxwell Stuart (born on a cattle station near Alice Springs, the son of 'a full-blood Aranda tribesman ... and a girl who had one white grandparent'. He was sentenced to death, reprieved seven times before the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. He was eventually released on parole in 1973 after serving fourteen years, but was returned to prison a number of times for parole violations. After his final release in 1984 he found part-time employment with the Central Land Council, became active in Aboriginal affairs, and eventually became chairman of the CLC from 1998 to 2001. He died in November 2014; aspects of the case still generate controversy. This copy is signed by the author, Sir Reginald Roderic St Clair Chamberlain (1901-1990), counsel for the prosecution; he remained convinced that Stuart was rightly convicted. The book is not uncommon, but this is only the second signed copy we have had (or even heard of) since we started dealing in books in Adelaide in the mid-1970s (and we sold the other copy fifteen years ago now). Chamberlain's entry in the 'Australian Dictionary of Biography' is a short but measured account of his life, well worth reading.