Dancing With Strangers

Dancing With Strangers : The True History of the Meeting of the British First Fleet and the Aboriginal Australians, 1788

3.99 (159 ratings by Goodreads)
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In January of 1788 the First Fleet arrived in New South Wales and a thousand British men and women encountered the people who will be their new neighbours; the beach nomads of Australia. "These people mixed with ours," wrote a British observer soon after the landfall, "and all hands danced together." What followed would determine relations between the peoples for the next two hundred years.

Drawing skilfully on first-hand accounts and historical records, Inga Clendinnen reconstructs the complex dance of curiosity, attraction and mistrust performed by the protagonists of either side. She brings this key chapter in British colonial history brilliantly alive. Then we discover why the dancing stopped . . .
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 148 x 224 x 26mm | 439.99g
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • Black and white illustrations
  • 1841956996
  • 9781841956992
  • 36,018

Review quote

In a voice that is always careful, thoughtful, deliberate, she teases out the story from what is not said, from ironic or obtuse turns of phrases in sentences constrained by professional formality or egotistical defensiveness . . . (Clendinnen) is above all a skilled interpreter of human behaviour. It is this psychologically astute . . . approach that sets her apart as a thoroughly 21st-century historian. -- Susan Elderkin * * Guardian * * Clendinnen revitalises out interest . . . Her glimpses are less conclusive but more truthful. They leave us with the feeling that we have not got it right, and that in itself is a spring-board back into investigation. -- Nicholas Shakespeare * * Daily Telegraph * * The story evoked is one of mystery, excitement and tension. Clendinnen's obvious passion for the subject transfers brilliantly onto the page as people and places are brought vividly to life. * * Big Issue * * A moving, often surprising story. * * Scotsman * * Clendinnen writes so well, with an eye for detail and character that make her a pleasure to read . . . Her words dance across the page. * * New York Times * * An extraordinary achievement. -- Robert Main Fascinating. Transforms our understanding of history from something static into something lived. -- James Bredley * * Sydney Morning Herald * *
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About Inga Clendinnen

INGA CLENDINNEN is a distinguished historian and author. Reading the Holocaust was named a New York Times Best Book of the Year and was awarded the New South Wales Premier's General History Award in 1999. Her subsequent work, Tiger's Eye was awarded the 2002 Adelaide Festival Award for Innovation and the Nita B.Kibble Award for Women Writers 2001 and was shortlisted for the Age Book of the Year Award 2000. Her essays and short stories have been widely published.
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Rating details

159 ratings
3.99 out of 5 stars
5 34% (54)
4 37% (59)
3 25% (39)
2 3% (5)
1 1% (2)
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