A gay bushranger with a love of poetry and guns.
A grotesque hangman with a passion for flowers and gardening.
A broken young man desperate for love and respect.
These men – two of them lovers – are about to bring the era of
Australia’s outlaws to a torrid and bloody climax.
Moonlite is the true and epic story of George Scott, an Irish-born
preacher who becomes, along with Ned Kelly, one of the nation’s most
notorious and celebrated criminals.
Charismatic, intelligent and handsome, George Scott is unlike any other
bushranger. Born into a privileged life in famine-wracked Ireland,
Scott’s family loses its fortune and is forced to flee to New Zealand.
There, Scott joins the local militia and fights as a soldier against
the Maori in the brutal New Zealand wars.
After recovering from a series of serious gunshot wounds, he sails to
Australia and becomes a Lay Preacher, captivating churchgoers with his
fiery and inspiring sermons.
But Scott is also prone to bursts of madness. The local villagers back
in Ireland often whispered that a “wild drop” ran in the blood of the
Scott family. One night he dons a mask in a small country town, arms
himself with a gun and, dubbing himself Captain Moonlite, brazenly
robs a bank before staging one of the country’s most audacious
After falling in love with fellow prisoner James Nesbitt, a boyish
petty criminal desperately searching for a father figure, Scott finds
himself unable to shrug off his criminal past.
Pursued and harassed by the police, he stages a dramatic siege and
prepares for a final showdown with the law – and a macabre executioner
without a nose.
Meticulously researched and drawing on previously unpublished
material, Moonlite is a work of non-fiction that reads like a novel.
Told at a cracking pace, and based on many of the extensive letters
Scott wrote from his death cell, Moonlite is set amid the violent and
sexually-repressed era of Australia in the second half of the 19th
With a cast of remarkable characters, it weaves together the
extraordinary lives of our bushrangers and the desperation of a young
nation eager to remove the stains of its convict past.
But most of all, Moonlite is a tragic love story.
For these are the dying days of the bushrangers and Captain Moonlite
is about to make his last stand.