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Convict Colony

The Remarkable Story of the Fledgling Settlement That Survived Against the Odds
Narrated by: Conrad Coleby
Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (38 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling historian David Hill tells the story of the first three decades of Britain's earliest colony in Australia in a fresh and compelling way.

The British plan to settle Australia was a high-risk venture. We now take it for granted that the first colony was the basis of one of the most successful nations in the world today. But in truth, the New World of the 18th century was dotted with failed colonies, and New South Wales nearly joined them. 

The motley crew of unruly marines and bedraggled convicts who arrived at Botany Bay in 1788 in leaky boats nearly starved to death. They could easily have been murdered by hostile locals, been overwhelmed by an attack from French or Spanish expeditions or been brought undone by the Castle Hill uprising of 1804. Yet through fortunate decisions, a few remarkably good leaders and, most of all, good luck, Sydney survived and thrived.

©2019 David Hill (P)2020 W. F. Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"David Hill captures Australia’s past in a very readable way." (The Weekly Times)

What listeners say about Convict Colony

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Quality Reference

Very easy to listen and comprehend Gives an informative without minute details such that one gets a good grasp of both the time as well as the people Highly recommended

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting story, hard to listen to narrator

Narrator tells story with no expression and is hard to listen to. Story got lost

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Really good book

Great reading voice ...however, the production was hard to listen to at times. There were continuous level changes even mid-paragraph to the point that it sounded like it was being cobbled together from recordings made in three different studios, all with different types of equipment. Some foreign accents were great, but there were some strange pronunciations of otherwise normal words. I'd still recommend the book. it would be great if Coleby could record a second edition.

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Great, decidedly non-academic history

Solid history of earliest settlement and the men behind it. Focus on the latter probably an artifact of period, but surely more room for female perspective. Oftentimes quite light and skips across decades, but in keeping with an accessible history rather than detailed chronology. A-