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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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Enriching

David Hill has written a fascinating history of the colonisation of Australia by the British. The history places into context the political and social forces behind transportation, the global machinations behind exploration and colonization of the southern islands and a harrowing account of the lives of convicts,
the dispossession and devastation inflicted on the aboriginal peoples... and an enlightening account of major players..The “Father of Australia” chapter has made me forever grateful to Governor Macquarie .. really the first truly “Australian” leader.. a humanist ahead of his times.

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Well worth a read

I love the Australian history and as my father was a local historian I grew up hearing the early stories of the convicts. The harsh conditions of our early colonial days are definitely depicted in this book. There are a few errors, such as Bathurst being built on the Lachlan River. Bathurst is situated on the Macquarie River. Barriellier's map has him at the Little River at Porters Retreat south of Oberon, as he came up from the south.

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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-

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.