The Colony: A History of Early Sydney

The Colony: A History of Early Sydney


By (author) Grace Karskens


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  • Publisher: Allen & Unwin
  • Format: Paperback | 696 pages
  • Dimensions: 173mm x 245mm x 38mm | 1,315g
  • Publication date: 1 June 2011
  • Publication City/Country: St Leonards
  • ISBN 10: 174237364X
  • ISBN 13: 9781742373645
  • Illustrations note: 32-page full-colour insert, plus 120 b&w illustrations
  • Sales rank: 29,328

Product description

The Colony is the story of the marvellously contrary, endlessly energetic early years of Sydney. It is an intimate account of the transformation of a campsite in a beautiful cove to the town that later became Australia's largest and best-known city. From the sparkling beaches to the foothills of the Blue Mountains, Grace Karskens skilfully reveals how landscape shaped the lives of the original Aboriginal inhabitants and newcomers alike. She traces the ways in which relationships between the colonial authorities and ordinary men and women broke with old patterns, and the ways that settler and Aboriginal histories became entwined. She uncovers the ties between the burgeoning township and its rural hinterland expanding along the river systems of the Cumberland Plain. This is a landmark account of the birthplace of modern Australia, and a fascinating and richly textured narrative of people and place.

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Author information

Grace Karskens's groundbreaking book The Rocks: Life in Early Sydney won the 1998 NSW Premier's Award for Local and Regional History and established the author as a leading historian of colonial Australia. As Project Historian for the Cumberland- Gloucester Streets Archaeological Project, she combined history and archaeology to explore the lost world of the Rocks neighbourhoods in her book Inside the Rocks.

Review quote

"Grounded in reality, free of stereotypes, and balanced in its judgment. It neither romanticizes nor condemns and thereby provides a foundation story that we can all recognize." --"Sydney Morning Herald"

Table of contents

Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Deep time and human history 2. Encounters in Eora country 3. The Camp, the canvas 4. Food from a common industry 5. Seeding and breeding 6. Views from Flagstaff Hill 7. Landscape artists: the Macquaries in Sydney 8. The face of the country 9. Nefarious geographies 10. A very bountiful place indeed 11. Soft colony 12. Taking possession 13. War on the Cumberland Plain 14 Aftermath Epilogue Notes List of illustrations and sources Bibliography Index