# 38509


[JORGEN JORGENSON] Jörundar Hundadagakónungur : Ævisaga

$80.00 AUD

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Reykjavík: Skrudda, 2005. Octavo (235 x 150 mm), publisher’s blue cloth over boards in pictorial dust jacket, pp 280, b/w plates, map, bibliography, index; text in Icelandic; an as new copy.

Icelandic translation of Sarah Bakewell’s The English Dane : a life of Jorgen Jorgenson (London : Chatto & Windus, 2005), which tells – through his own manuscripts and letters – the story of one of the most colourful characters in Australia’s convict history, who was known to Icelanders as “the king of the dog-days”.

Trove locates no copies in Australian libraries.

The Danish adventurer Jorgen Jorgenson first visited Australia in the years 1801-1805, arriving at Port Jackson as a sailor aboard the Harbinger. He was then transferred to the HMS Lady Nelson and probably sailed with Flinders in 1802, visiting Port Phillip and Van Diemen’s Land. After returning to Denmark he fought against the Royal Navy in the Anglo-Danish War, captaining a privateer. Following his capture and eventual release in London, he sailed to Iceland and staged a daring coup d’état with the help of an English crew, proclaiming Iceland’s independence from Denmark and himself as governor of the island. His Icelandic regime lasted only nine weeks during the northern summer of 1809 (hence the sobriquet “king of the dog-days”). Returning to England, he spent the next ten years in and out of prison due to alcohol and gambling problems, but was also employed as an English spy. Sentenced to death in 1820 for theft, he was eventually transported for life to Van Diemen’s Land in 1826. Jorgenson very soon gained a ticket-of-leave and was employed by the Van Diemen’s Land Company, actively involved in the exploration of the north and west of Tasmania and the notorious clearances of Aborigines. He received an official pardon in 1830.