The Epic Mini-Series “Kings In Grass Castles” Shows That 19th Century Australia Was No Place For The Faint Of Heart

March 8, 2017 — Kings in Grass Castles is an award-winning mini series that tells an epic story of one immigrant family’s life through the years, as they try to establish themselves in Australia after fleeing the Irish Potato Famine.

The book on which the mini-series is based tells the story of author
Mary Durack‘s family as they moved from Western Ireland to Australia in the mid-nineteenth century. It is a multi-generational epic, starting with the story of Patrick Durand, Mary’s grandfather, who first pioneered into what were, in European eyes, relatively unknown areas of the country. Within 45 years Durand and his sons would settle in and develop three areas: Cooper’s Creek (Queensland), the Ord River in Western Australia and Goulburn in New South Wales. They brought herds of cattle, interacted with indigenous populations throughout their journeys and established a family empire, while holding onto their Irish heritage and values.

They had left Ireland to avoid famine, poverty and a lack of any opportunities. In Australia they endured almost unimaginable hardships — isolation, floods, droughts, disease, deaths, devastating heat, poisonous flora and fauna, natives who intended to push the family off of their lands, wild animals and disease-carrying insects (not to mention the Depression) — but they persevered and established a cattle empire that would cover vast tracts of Australian territory. 

Written in 1959, the book is an Australian classic.

Veteran actor James Fox (The Remains of the Day, The Falklands Play, Passage to India) heads the large cast which includes Stephen Dillane (The Hours, King Arthur) Imelda Corcoran (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Essie Davis (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries), Susan Lynch (Interview with the Vampire, Waking Ned Devine) and Max Cullen (X-Men Origins: Wolverine).

Stream Kings in Grass Castles, the award-winning two-part mini-series.

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