The Fatal Shore: the Epic of Australia's Founding

The Fatal Shore: the Epic of Australia's Founding

4.05 (7,181 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?


In this bestselling account of the colonization of Australia, Robert Hughes explores how the convict transportation system created the country we know today. Digging deep into the dark history of England's infamous efforts to move 160,000 men and women thousands of miles to the other side of the world in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Hughes has crafted a groundbreaking, definitive account of the settling of Australia. Tracing the European presence in Australia from early explorations through the rise and fall of the penal colonies, and featuring 16 pages of illustrations and 3 maps, The Fatal Shore brings to life the incredible true history of a country we thought we knew.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 628 pages
  • 149.86 x 238.76 x 43.18mm | 929.86g
  • Random House USA Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Vintage Books
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0394753666
  • 9780394753669
  • 94,564

Review quote

"One of the greatest non-fiction books I've ever read . . . Hughes brings us an entire world." --Los Angeles Times

"A great achievement: Hughes has a story to tell as vivid, large-scale, and appalling as anything by Dickens or Solzhenitsyn, but one that's virtually unknown--until the writing of this splendid book." --Susan Sontag "Engrossing . . . richly peopled with bizarre and compelling characters." --The New York Times Book Review

"A magnificent history, with a richness of detail that is as mesmerizing as it is horrifying. . . . It is both passionate and compassionate." --The Washington Post Book World

"Splendid . . . Robert Hughes combines the narrative skills of the authors of Mutiny on the Bounty with the sharp eye of de Tocqueville." --Gorde Vidal "A brilliant and enduring achievement . . . history of the highest order combining thorough research with vivid narrative and thoughtful assessment." --Arthur M. Schlesinger
show more

Flap copy

The history of the birth of Australia which came out of the suffereing and brutality of England's infamous convict transportation system. With 16 pages of illustrations and 3 maps.
show more

About Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes was born in Australia in 1938. In 1970, he moved to the United States to become chief art critic for Time, a position he held until 2001. His books include The Shock of the New, The Fatal Shore, Nothing if Not Critical, The Culture of Complaint, Barcelona, American Visions, A Jerk on One End, Goya, Things I Didn't Know, and Rome. He is a New York Public Library Literary Lion and was the recipient of a number of literary awards and prizes, including two Frank Jewell-Mather Awards. He is widely held as the most respected art critic of our time.
show more

Rating details

7,181 ratings
4.05 out of 5 stars
5 36% (2,573)
4 40% (2,882)
3 19% (1,353)
2 4% (304)
1 1% (69)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X