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A commonwealth of thieves : the improbable birth of Australia

Author: Thomas Keneally
Publisher: New York : Anchor Books, 2007.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : English : 1st Anchor books edView all editions and formats
Summary:
A brilliant recreation of the first four years of white settlement in Australia by Booker Prize-winning author Tom Keneally. In 1787, Britain banished its unwanted citizens - uneducated petty thieves, streetwalkers, orphan chimneysweeps and dashing highwaymen - to the fringes of the known world. So remote was Botany Bay - the destination to which the overcrowded, disease-ridden convict ships were bound - that only  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Biography
History
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
(OCoLC)170955738
Named Person: Arthur Phillip; Arthur Phillip
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Thomas Keneally
ISBN: 9780307387578 0307387577 129901674X 9781299016743 9781742742663 1742742661
OCLC Number: 289056317
Description: 1 online resource (385 pages) : maps
Other Titles: Improbable birth of Australia
Responsibility: Thomas Keneally.

Abstract:

A brilliant recreation of the first four years of white settlement in Australia by Booker Prize-winning author Tom Keneally. In 1787, Britain banished its unwanted citizens - uneducated petty thieves, streetwalkers, orphan chimneysweeps and dashing highwaymen - to the fringes of the known world. So remote was Botany Bay - the destination to which the overcrowded, disease-ridden convict ships were bound - that only one European expedition had ever before anchored there. Yet the rejects of Britain, accompanied only by a flimsy complement of soldiers, marines and officers, were expected to start a settlement and flourish. It was an audacious social experiment, unparalleled before or since. To the indigenous inhabitants, the white men came as ghosts through cracks in the cosmos, rudely seizing the bounty of land and sea. On the swampy shores of Botany Bay, and by the sandstone coves of Sydney Harbour, the clash of civilisations was ineviteable, intense and often tragic. From this improbable beginning, through famine, drought, escapes and floggings, the glory of modern Sydney was born. Britain's penal experiment succeeded against all odds. Impeccably researched and told in the inimitable Keneally style, The Commonwealth of Thieves is the compelling tale of a nation's beginning, its unforgettable people and their quest for identity.

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