The Brutal Truth Of The First Fleet
Never before or since has there been an experiment quite as bold as this. Set against the backdrop of Georgian England with its peculiar mix of elegance, prosperity, progress and squalor, the story of the First Fleet is one of courage, of short-sightedness, of tragedy but above all of extraordinary resilience. It is also, of course, the story of the very first European Australians, reluctant pioneers who travelled into the unknown – the vast majority against their will – in order to form a colony by order of the King’s government. Separated from loved ones and travelling in cramped conditions for the months-long journey to Botany Bay, they suffered the most unbearable hardship on arrival on Australian land where a near-famine dictated that rations be cut to the bone. But why was the settlement of New South Wales proposed in the first place? Who were the main players in a story that changed the world and ultimately forged the Australian nation? How did the initial skirmishes with the indigenous population break out and how did the relationship turn sour so quickly? Using diaries, letters and official records, David Hill artfully reconstructs the experiences of these famous and infamous men and women of history, combining narrative skill with an eye for detail and an exceptional empathy with the people of the past.
‘Well Australians know quite a lot about the first fleet. However l learnt about a lot of things l didn’t know about that time. What was interesting was the routes they took to get to Australia – down the African coast, then over to Rio in South America then back to Africa and Cape Town then the long sea voyage on the roaring 40s. Also how hard it was for the colony to grow food and survive. Boats going all over the place to find food. Ships constantly being plagued by scurvy, dreadful weather, including high seas, icebergs, and reefs if the boats went north. Talk about the tyranny of distance at that time. I am so pleased to have read the book.’ – Amazon review
Author: David Hill
Condition: Soft cover. Fab lightly used condition. Some pages folded in one corner.
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