Fact or fiction is a question historians are grappling with after the release of a new book on the lives of Tasmanian Aborigines.
Jane Cooper has spent 20 years writing a book with new insights into Tasmania’s Aboriginal history.
Her English ancestors were quakers who settled in Van Diemen’s Land in 1828 and invited Aborigines to stay on the property.
The tribes shared details of their religion, customs and language, which were handed down to Ms Cooper’s father.
“There will be controversy because you know we don’t have the evidence now,” she said.
Historian Nick Clements says the content is graphic and confronting.
“Violence, sex, it’s totally contrary to what a lot of Aboriginal people like to think of as their history,” he said.
The Aboriginal community has tried unsuccessfully to access the family’s notes, which are likely to be studied by the University of Tasmania.