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Fri, 19 Apr


Better Read Than Dead

James Vella-Bardon Launch with Anton Tagliaferro OA and Bonita Mersiades

Join us with James Vella-Bardon to celebrate the release of Hero Of Rosclogher! James will be joined by Anton Tagliaferro OA and Bonita Mersiades.

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James Vella-Bardon Launch with Anton Tagliaferro OA and Bonita Mersiades
James Vella-Bardon Launch with Anton Tagliaferro OA and Bonita Mersiades

Time & Location

19 Apr 2024, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Better Read Than Dead, 265 King St, Newtown NSW 2042, Australia


About The Event

Charismatic Spanish sea captain and Armada castaway Francisco de Cuéllar has hardly been rescued by Santiago and Muireann, when terrible tidings reach the Irish kingdom of Dartry at the start of a winter that is harsh beyond memory.

Queen Elizabeth's viceroy has left Dublin, leading an army of two thousand strong across Ireland. As one rebel chieftain after another is crushed in his path, the English commander's destination appears to be Santiago's hideout in Dartry. The tribe's sufferings are set to greatly worsen as they are forced to withdraw to the frosty mountains with their herds and belongings. They leave behind them nine Spaniards led by the brash Captain de Cuéllar, sworn to defend the island fort of Rosclogher.

As the viceroy's army gathers about the tower-house, Santiago must fight a lost cause of his own making. Vile betrayal worsens the odds faced by the defenders, who must choose between fatal surrender and a heroic last stand.

James Vella-Bardon was born and raised in Malta, an island nation influenced by thousands of years of imperial history, from the Romans to the British where his passion for exciting and dramatic historical events was formed. After reading law and history at the Universities of both Malta and Sydney, James qualified as a lawyer and completed a PhD on the rights and freedoms of peoples at international law. He emigrated to Sydney in 2007 and turned his hand to novel writing. His debut novel The Sheriff’s Catch (2018), which recounts the adventures of a Spanish Armada castaway in Tudor Ireland, made bestseller lists in Europe and was also named an ‘Outstanding Historical’ by the IAN Book Awards in 2019, while receiving various other international awards and nominations. James was heralded as ‘the new king of historical fiction’ by British newspaper The Scotsman, in their review of his novella Mad King Robin, about Robert the Bruce.

Anton Tagliaferro, Order of Australia, is one of Australia’s most renowned and respected value managers. He founded Investors Mutual Limited (IML) in 1998, and oversaw its growth and success for over two decades. Anton retired IML in 2023 after it was acquired by a large French bank. He is now involved in various business, sporting and cultural ventures including the incorporation of Tearaway Press in 2022 in which he is looking to support exceptionally talented authors.

Bonita Mersiades is founder of Fair Play Publishing which has published more than 60 books across three imprints, the Football Writers' Festival and Manly Writers' Festival. She is recognised internationally as a 'FIFA whistleblower' for lifting the lid on corruption and governance issues within world football administration. She was team manager of the Socceroos and head of corporate and public affairs with Football Australia. Prior to working in football, she was a senior executive with the federal government, and has led Australian delegations to World Health Organisation and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation fora in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. She has written extensively on sports governance for a wide range of publications and has written three books: My World is Round – the biography of Frank Farina (1998), Whatever It Takes – the Inside Story of the FIFA Way (2018), and Portraits in Football (2022). She is chair of the community-based cancer care charity, NBCCC.


  • Event Ticket

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  • Event + Book

    Includes a ticket and copy of Hero Of Rosclogher

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