A Commonwealth of Thieves
In this spirited history of the remarkable first four years of the convict settlement of Australia, Thomas Keneally offers us a human view of a fascinating piece of history. Combining the authority of a renowned historian with a brilliant narrative flair, Keneally gives us an inside view of this unprecedented experiment from the perspective of the new colony’s governor, Arthur Phillips. Using personal journals and documents, Keneally re-creates the hellish overseas voyage and the challenges Phillips faced upon arrival: unruly convicts, disgruntled officers, bewildered and hostile natives, food shortages, and disease. He also offers captivating portrayals of Aborigines and of convict settlers who were determined to begin their lives anew. A Commonwealth of Thieves immerses us in the fledgling penal colony and conjures up the thrills and hardships of those first four improbable years.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Review: A Commonwealth of Thieves: The Improbable Birth of AustraliaUser Review - Steven - Goodreads
Half way in, and so far it's terrific. It lacks a little critical reasoning and historical discipline but it is not a dry academic history either (and I've read plenty of them). I'd put it ahead of ... Read full review
Review: A Commonwealth of Thieves: The Improbable Birth of AustraliaUser Review - Martine Bailey - Goodreads
This was a thorough account of the first years of the New South Wales colony written in a readable novelistic form. I suppose my only gripe was the lack of depth in the footnotes. Keneally has always ... Read full review