1788 : The Brutal Truth of the First Fleet

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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, shortsightedness, tragedy, but above all, extraordinary resilience. Separated from loved ones and traveling in cramped conditions for the months-long journey to Botany Bay, the first European Australians suffered the most unbearable hardship upon arrival on Australian land, where a near famine dictated that rations be cut to the bone. Questions such as "Why was the settlement of New South Wales proposed in the first place? "and "Who were the main players in a story that changed the world and ultimately forged the Australian nation?" are answered using diaries, letters, and official records. Artfully reconstructing the experiences of these famous and infamous men and women of history, this book combines narrative skill with an eye for detail and an exceptional empathy with the people of the past.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 130 x 194 x 28mm | 258.55g
  • Random House Australia
  • William Heinemann Australia
  • North Sydney, Australia
  • English
  • 174166800X
  • 9781741668001
  • 35,672

Review quote

"A must for your bookshelf . . . the best book I have read all year." --"News Mail"

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About David Hill

David Hill is the author of "The Forgotten Children."

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Customer reviews

I liked this. 1788 by David Hill is a chunky, easy-to-read simple narrative of Australia's first years of European settlement, but there was detail and gossip I didn't know about, and it was a forceful reminder of the astonishing courage of those who came here on the First Fleet. To read the rest of this review please visit http://anzlitlovers.wordpress.com/2008/11/20/1788-by-david-hill/show more
by Martin OConnor