A Commonwealth of Thieves

A Commonwealth of Thieves : The Improbable Birth of Australia

3.58 (768 ratings by Goodreads)
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In this spirited history of the remarkable first four years of the convict settlement of Australia, Thomas Keneally offers us a human view of a fascinating piece of history. Combining the authority of a renowned historian with a brilliant narrative flair, Keneally gives us an inside view of this unprecedented experiment from the perspective of the new colony s governor, Arthur Phillips. Using personal journals and documents, Keneally re-creates the hellish overseas voyage and the challenges Phillips faced upon arrival: unruly convicts, disgruntled officers, bewildered and hostile natives, food shortages, and disease. He also offers captivating portrayals of Aborigines and of convict settlers who were determined to begin their lives anew. A Commonwealth of Thieves immerses us in the fledgling penal colony and conjures up the thrills and hardships of those first four improbable years."show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 385 pages
  • 132.08 x 200.66 x 22.86mm | 272.15g
  • Waterbrook Press (A Division of Random House Inc)
  • Colorado, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • maps
  • 140007956X
  • 9781400079568
  • 70,205

Review quote

Praise for Thomas Keneally "In the style of the best historians [Keneally] allows the intrinsic power of the tales he tells and the people who populate his pages to draw the reader into a fully elaborated universe." --"New York Times ""Keneally has all the gifts of a great storyteller: a curious eye, a clear voice, worldly knowledge and an innocent, inexhaustible heart." --"San Francisco Chronicle ""Keneally is joyfully inquisitive....He enters naturally and sympathetically into the hearts of his protagonists--his own prose takes on the flavour of the period he invokes." --"Times Literary Supplement " "Keneally's atmospheric and descriptive powers are formidable." --"Boston Globe ""Keneally has a gift for heroic stories." --"Washington Post"show more

About Thomas Keneally

THOMAS KENEALLY has won international acclaim for his novels Schindler s List (the basis for the movie and the winner of the Booker Prize), The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Confederates, Gossip from the Forest, The Playmaker, Woman of the Inner Sea, A River Town, Office of Innocence, and The Tyrant s Novel. His most recent works of nonfiction are The Great Shame and American Scoundrel. He resides in Sydney, Australia."show more

Rating details

768 ratings
3.58 out of 5 stars
5 17% (130)
4 38% (295)
3 34% (258)
2 9% (68)
1 2% (17)
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