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The Mayne Inheritance

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  176 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Opening with a macabre mid-nineteenth century murder, The Mayne Inheritance unfolds like a gothic thriller. Was it the murder victim's money that founded patriarch Patrick Mayne's Queen Street business empire? And were the whispered accusations of murder and genetic madness true? For 150 years scandal and mystery have surrounded the Maynes, a wealthy family who donated the ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published December 1st 1999 by University of Queensland Pr (Australia) (first published November 19th 1997)
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Jul 03, 2015 Maggie rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical-fact
This family saga should be made into a TV series - one of those stories where fact is stanger than fiction and is truly about the sins of a father visiting upon the lives of his children. I work at The University of Queensland, so this book is of particular interest to me. Siemon has meticulously researched her material. It could have been a dry old read, being packed full of facts, but she turned this into an intiguing and compelling story.

It is about ill gotten gains and the innocent victims
Ruth Bonetti
Sep 11, 2016 Ruth Bonetti rated it really liked it
This intriguing book poses the question: did he didn't he? Meaning Patrick Mayne, of Brisbane's rich Mayne family. Did they appease guilt over a murder when they bequeathed a large amount of money to build the University of Queensland? Did their lack of heirs relate to a fear of genetic insanity in the line?

Whatever, the bequest saved my own grandfather W. A. Back from bankruptcy in the Depression. He was a mover with the Coronation Park Estate that developed the suburbs of St Lucia and Taringa
While the quality of this work as a piece of prose cannot go unnoticed, I am truly in awe of Siemon's seemingly boundless dedication to resurrecting the family history of the Mayne family. By piecing together fragments of information from the 1800s, she has managed to separate the filaments of rumour and truth, and offers a very credible acceptance of past crimes and torment, while making a strong case for compassionate redemption.
The book is littered with interesting historical information abou
Aug 07, 2013 Brendan rated it really liked it
The Maynes were an affluent family of early Brisbane days. And I'm talking the city consisting of only Ann and Queen Streets early days. Follows a Second generation through to the end of the line, with James Mayne donating funds and land to UQ to set up campus at St Lucia. The second generation were unable to escape the stigma of the original patriarch. Interesting insight into early Brisbane days.
Nicola Alter
Apr 06, 2016 Nicola Alter rated it it was amazing
If you've lived in Brisbane and had any connection to the University of Queensland, this book is particularly fascinating. An intriguing, moving true story.
Jean Seah
Nov 01, 2016 Jean Seah rated it it was ok
For a recent historical article by a barrister disputing the veracity of the murder allegations, see
Stephen Sheaffe, “The True Facts behind the Mayne Inheritance”, Queensland History Journal, May 2015, Vol. 22, No. 9, pp. 677-692.
Nov 21, 2016 Mr_wormwood rated it really liked it
An essential read for anyone interested in the history of Brisbane.
Apr 09, 2016 Gerry rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can't remember when I last read a book with a sub-title that seemed to be so misleading. The sub-title of 'the mayne inheritance' (and lower case initials are used on the book) is 'a gothic tale of murder, madness and scandal across the generations'. Yes, there is murder (briefly mentioned in the book's first chapter), there is madness (one of the main man's sons suffered) and there is more than a sniff of scandal across the generations simply because of the family name but 'a gothic tale', ...more
Feb 12, 2009 Michael rated it liked it
I read this as part of the One Book One Brisbane program in 02, I think. I had just returned to my home town after a long absence and there was this book being described as a look into some the murkier sides of its history.

The book starts with an 1848 grisly murder, we're talking multiple body parts spread all round Kangaroo point here, which shocked the locals at the time. A great deal of money is also thought to be stolen as well.

It then goes on to detail the hanging of an innocent man for t
Maree Kimberley
May 03, 2013 Maree Kimberley rated it liked it
Shelves: aww2013
This 1997 non-fiction account of the history of the Mayne family and their legacy to University of Queensland was the very first One Book One Brisbane back in 2003. It's an interesting account of how the patriarch of the family, Patrick Mayne, came into his money and built his wealth, and the legacy it left for his family. Mayne came over from Ireland as a poor, young immigrant and worked as a butcher in Brisbane in the early-mid 18th century. Although another man hung for the crime, and Mayne ...more
Oct 11, 2010 Renay rated it it was ok
intrigued enough by the blurb to pick it up for a read, i was not as enthralled as i hoped to be by this book.
the story of the mayne family that donated much wealth to the founding and building of the university of queensland, the book is written more like a study book for an exam, than a story. at times i struggled through it, when there were too many dates and references to legal jargon and names that were hard to follow.
i did find it an interesting story, but thought it could do without so mu
May 20, 2015 Wendy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
This incredibly well researched book about the Mayne family, the development of Brisbane and the establishment of the University of Queensland, St. Lucia was very interesting indeed.

The author has tried to discover the truth behind the various stories that revolve around the Mayne family. Patrick Mayne, was an Irish immigrant who essentially considered himself to be a self-made man as he rose from nothing and became incredibly wealthy. It seems though that he was a cruel man who got away with a
Helen McKenna
As a graduate of the University Of Queensland, this was a book that immediately captivated my interest, given that the family at the centre of this grisly tale made huge financial and land donations to help establish UQ in the leafy Brisbane suburb of St Lucia. It's interesting to think that without the philanthropy of the Mayne family, the UQ campus may have remained in it's inner city location and not have developed into the massive facility it is today.

Rosamond Siemon has done a marvellous jo
Bronwyn Rykiert
Nov 05, 2010 Bronwyn Rykiert rated it it was amazing
I don't normally listen to or read non-fiction as I am a fiction fan (love stories & family saga's). Recently I listened to a story narrated by Deidre Rubenstein and I enjoyed her voice so much that I wanted to listen to all the books she has narrated that are in the library, which includes this one a true story of the Mayne Family of Brisbane. The youngest Maynes, James and Mary donated the land and left their estate the the University of Qld. On his death bed their father Patrick, admitted ...more
May 08, 2015 Just rated it really liked it
I've lived in Brisbane since the 1980's and whilst I knew of Mayne Hall at UQ and had heard in passing that the land had been donated by the Mayne family I had never heard about the Mayne's. I came across the title of this book whilst reading the book Lingering Doubts about the Brisbane Arcade Murders. I found it a very interesting read about the Mayne's. In all my years I've never even heard the rumours about the Mayne's despite living only 20 minutes from where they finally settled. I never ...more
Rosamond Siemon is an archivist from a disciplined order. Her search through the archive to seek out any truth to one of the most ghastly rhumers is highly compelling. Learning the early history of Brisbane society is both eye opening and frustrating. The Mayne Family with all that has beleaguered it's footsteps remains remembered for the horror of it's tragedy and not for the power of it's philanthropy. The legacy lives on for those who provided their all in helping establish UQ and various ...more
Julie McSorley
Jul 05, 2015 Julie McSorley rated it really liked it
This historical family biography will particularly appeal to readers, like me, who know the Brisbane area well. The story not only illustrates how hard life was for pioneers in 1850's Australia, but how actions can impact on future generations. In the case of the Mayne family, their inheritance was a two-edged sword of great wealth and shameful scandal. Thoroughly recommend this for anyone interested in Australian history, it's well researched and paints a good picture of the social/economic ...more
Meredith Walker
Aug 15, 2015 Meredith Walker rated it really liked it
The book that every Brisbanite should read. It provides a fascinating glimpse into the history of Brisbane city, from its very early days until the middle of the last century and the tragic but also inspiring story the Mayne family. Proof that truth (if you believe it) is stranger than fiction, this is certainly a remarkable an compelling story that shows that sometimes an evil act can have good consequences.
Nov 24, 2008 Jim rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable. As a reasonably new resident of Brisbane, I also found the historical background about the city's early days in the mid-1800's of great interest. I'll certainly never look at a number of locations in the same light again :-)

The tragedy of the Mayne family legacy will hopefully have been moved forward significantly in a more enlightened way as a result of this fine piece of historical investigation/writing.
Cameron Trost
Jun 24, 2010 Cameron Trost rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This account of how a dark chapter from the early history of Brisbane town eventually led to the founding of one of Australia's most illustrious universities (UQ) is an entertaining and insightful read. Anyone who was born and grew up in Brisbane really should read this well researched and compelling book.
Rebecca Lane
Jan 19, 2015 Rebecca Lane rated it liked it
As a student at the University of Queensland, this was a must read. It was interesting, although at times the writing could be a little hard to follow with numerous new characters introduced at once and some back and forth time jumping. Overall, I'm very glad I read it and I learnt a lot about the city that I live in.
Jan 18, 2013 June rated it really liked it
This is the second time I have read this book. Living in Brisbane Australia I found it to be very enjoyable. It was interesting to know how our streets, suburbs and even the Mooreland house got it's name. Anyone wanting to know the history of Brisbane and the infamous Mayne family, this book is a must.
Jun 05, 2012 Sarah rated it it was ok
mildly interesting for the history of Brisbane, good bedtime reading for a few pages before lights out
Jan 25, 2011 Tracey rated it liked it
This is the first bookclub book for 2011. Was incredibly interesting, but narrative and author drawing conclusions annoyed me a bit.
Tarah Jameson
Sep 17, 2013 Tarah Jameson rated it liked it
Very interesting history of brisbane. I think it should have been written more like a novel than a history book though
Robert Dunne
Robert Dunne rated it really liked it
Jun 05, 2016
John Hodgkinson
John Hodgkinson rated it really liked it
Jan 28, 2013
Lisa rated it really liked it
Jun 06, 2010
Lisa Swenson
Lisa Swenson rated it liked it
Jul 25, 2013
Claire rated it it was amazing
Jul 03, 2011
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