1788: The Brutal Truth Of The First Fleet

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Penguin Random House Australia, Oct 1, 2010 - History - 400 pages
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An extraordinary narrative history of the First Fleet, by the bestselling author of The Forgotten Children.

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.

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Great bok to read if you want to know about the First Fleet.

About the author (2010)

During his remarkable career, David Hill has been chairman then managing director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation; chairman of the Australian Football Association; chief executive of the State Rail Authority; chairman of Sydney Water Corporation; and chairman of CREATE (an organisation representing Australian children in institutional care).

He has also held a number of other executive appointments in the areas of sport, transport, broadcasting, fiscal management and city parks.

In 2006 he was awarded a Diploma of Arts with merit in classical archaeology from Sydney University. He is an honorary associate at the Sydney University departments of archaeology, classics and ancient history, and a visiting fellow at the University of New South Wales.

Since 2011 he has been the manager of an archaeological study of the ancient Greek city of Troizen. He has for many years been a leading figure in the international campaign to have the Parthenon sculptures returned from the British Museum to Greece.

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