The Corner

Beneath The Southern Cross

News from Down Under:

“TASMANIA celebrated one of the more outrageous and, until recently, almost

unmentioned episodes in its colourful history yesterday with the unveiling

of a painting called The Flash Mob by local artist Peter Gouldthorpe. Back

in 1844, about 300 disgruntled inmates at Hobart’s women’s prison, the

Female Factory, hiked up their skirts to flash their bottoms at Governor

John Franklin. According to the diary of the Reverend Robert Crooke, the

women slapped their buttocks in unison and made ‘a loud and not very musical

noise’. Gouldthorpe’s work shows Franklin and his bemused wife looking on as

prison chaplain William Bedford provokes the show of defiance. The Flash Mob

will be sold in print and postcard form to raise funds for continuing

restoration works at the Female Factory site.”

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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