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1788 : the brutal truth of the First Fleet :…
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1788 : the brutal truth of the First Fleet : the biggest single overseas… (original 2009; edition 2008)

by David Hill

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1237144,492 (3.83)15
Member:wimstu
Title:1788 : the brutal truth of the First Fleet : the biggest single overseas migration the world had ever seen
Authors:David Hill
Info:North Sydney, N.S.W. : William Heinemann, 2008.
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:History, Australia, Sydney, Convicts

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1788: The Brutal Truth of the First Fleet by David Hill (2009)

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» See also 15 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
A detailed and compelling account of a rare event in history: The founding of a new nation. The achievement of the convicts and settlers against the odds is amazing even as the realities of daily life are so appalling. Towards the end, I felt some elements of the story were being needlessly repeated, but maybe it was simply the process of summarizing to a clean conclusion. If you have any interest in the founding of Australia or the history which led to it, this is a must read. ( )
  rightantler | May 28, 2016 |
As other readers have alluded to this work takes a very dry and unimaginative topic learnt at school and turns it into a compelling story of triumph over adversity. David Hill has written the narrative of the First Fleet and trials of the fledgling Australian colony in an accessible, engaging form that is full of animation, detail and includes the latest research findings. ( )
  adamclaxton | Jul 14, 2011 |
I really enjoyed this book, it is a nicely written history, It did get a bit much reading about the precise amounts of stock/wheat/etc taht was brought in to the colony, but overall a good read. ( )
  Books4Bon | May 13, 2011 |
I remember spending a lot of time in school learning Australian History and was throughly convinced afterwards that I would never look at another Australian History book again, but after 20 years I was compelled to read this book simply from the 'write-up' on the back cover and I'm glad I did.

David Hill comes at this topic in an informal way and the subject matter is very easy to read. Most of the times the narrative flows easily and the inclusion of excerpts from the journals of those who lived through the events adds interest to these events.

Throughout this narrative the colonist meet with many hardships from natural disasters: shipwreck, hunger, famine and scurvy and man-made disasters: governmental mismanagement, convict villainy and opposition from the military detachment, and it is a wonder that anyone survived at all..

Two faults I could find was that the narrative sometimes seemed to ramble and secondly the narrative ends abruptly with one paragraph to summarise the entire 329 pages. All up I enjoyed it and actually learnt more about the First Fleet from this method than I did from the school books. ( )
  McWolf | Jan 20, 2010 |
I was in Australia for a couple of weeks, teaching classes, and I always like to learn more about the place I am visiting. This newly released book is a top-seller in Australia, and for good reason, as it tells the story of the First Fleet extremely well. Lured to Australia by glowing accounts of its riches by Captain Cook, the reality was something entirely different. Underfunded and under-supplied, the men and woman on the First Fleet, mostly convicts, barely survived. If there is a weakness to this book, it is that the indigenous Australian population is almost completely ignored, as I am sure it was in real life, but disconcerting all the same. ( )
  co_coyote | Oct 10, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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At four o'clock in the morning on Sunday 13 May 1787 the signal was given by the flagship Sirius for the ships of the First Fleet to set sail and begin their eight-month voyage from Portsmouth to establish a British colony in a remote and little-known spot on the far side of the world.
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Summary: "Never before or since has there been an experiment quite as bold as this. 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, of short-sightedness, of tragedy but above all of extraordinary resilience. It is also, of course, the story of the very first European Australians, reluctant pioneers who travelled into the unknown - the vast majority against their will - in order to form a colony by order of the King's government. Separated from loved ones and travelling in cramped conditions for the months-long journey to Botany Bay, they suffered the most unbearable hardship on arrival on Australian land where a near-famine dictated that rations be cut to the bone. But why was the settlement of New South Wales proposed in the first place? Who were the main players in a story that changed the world and ultimately forged the Australian nation? How did the initial skirmishes with the indigenous population break out and how did the relationship turn sour so quickly? Using diaries, letters and official records, David Hill artfully reconstructs the experiences of these famous and infamous men and women of history, combining narrative skill with an eye for detail and an exceptional empathy with the people of the past."--Publisher description.… (more)

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