1788 Brutal Truth of The First Fleet
Never before or since has there been an experiment quite as bold as this. Eleven of the tiniest ships sailed for eight months over the roughest seas, carrying fifteen hundred people, food for two years and all the equipment needed to build a colony of convicts in a land completely beyond their experience and imagination.
In Portsmouth the fleet's preparation was characterised by disease, promiscuity and death. The journey itself was one of unbearable hardship, but also extraordinary resilience, with the majority of settlers andexiles making it alive to the new colony at Sydney Cove. There, however, they faced their biggest challenges of all: conflict, starvation and despair.
Combining the skill of a vigilant journalist with the magic of a master novelist, David Hill brings the sights, sounds, sufferings and triumphs of the First Fleeters back to life. Journals, letters, reports and please to England are all interwoven here with the author's own insight and empathy to convey the innermost horrors and joys of the very first European Australians. The result is a narrative history that is surprising, compelling and unforgettable.
"Brings to life the events and the major characters of this extraordinary journey" - Sydney Morning Herald
"1788 is a must for your bookshelf ... This is the best book I have read all year" News Mail
Published July 2009
196mm x 130mm