Lyndall Ryan: No historian enjoys a monopoly over the truth. In answer to some serious questioning of her scholarship by Keith Windschuttle she says;
“Attempts to undermine the essential validity of the past 30 years of historical scholarship on the fate of the Tasmanian Aborigines by discrediting the initial work needs to be answered. Windschuttle points to some factual errors in the footnoting of my original work. There are, indeed, a few minor errors that can easily be rectified. But these rectifications do not alter the book’s fundamental proposition nor in any way support his assertion that the errors were deliberate and used to create imaginary events”.As I noted last week Keith Windschuttle has released a book questioning the accuracy of Lyndall Ryan’s book The Aboriginal Tasmanians. Windschuttle states that he has gone back to the sources and references she quoted and found a host of inaccuracies. Some newspapers she quoted hadn’t even started publication in the years concerned and some people she referred to weren’t even in Tasmania when the were said to have been involved in the “Massacres”. As noted above she replies. “There are, indeed, a few minor errors that can easily be rectified. But these rectifications do not alter the book’s fundamental proposition nor in any way support his assertion that the errors were deliberate and used to create imaginary events,” I beg to differ. They do alter the fundamental proposition. If you state categorically that a certain person witnessed an event, as reported in a newspaper of the time that dealt with Aborigines, sheep and slaughter/massacre; and Windschuttle’s research shows that at the time the person wasn’t in Tasmania , there were no sheep there and the Newspaper didn’t even exist, then you have either based your book on false premises, or you are simply distorting the truth to fit in with the “black armband” theory of genocide. Answer the bloody question Lyndall.