The First Fleet: The Real Story
“Alan Frost is the myth-buster of Australian history...His work should be studied not only by students but anyone interested in the birth of a nation.” — the Age
In 1787 a convoy of eleven ships, carrying about 1400 people, set out from England for Botany Bay. According to the conventional account, it was a shambolic affair: under-prepared, poorly equipped and ill-disciplined. Robert Hughes condemned the organisers’ “muddle and lack of foresight”, while Manning Clark described scenes of “indescribable misery and confusion”.
In The First Fleet: The Real Story, Alan Frost draws on previously forgotten records to debunk these persistent myths. He shows that the voyage was in fact meticulously planned – reflecting its importance to the British government’s secret ambitions for imperial expansion. He examines the ships and supplies, passengers and behind-the-scenes discussions. In the process, he reveals the hopes and schemes of those who planned the voyage, and the experiences of those who made it.
‘It is almost certain that Frost knows more than anybody else about the early maritime history of this land ... This book will surely alter the way Sydney sees its history.’ — Geoffrey Blainey, The Weekend Australian
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Much of the planning was undertaken in conversations among officials at the Home Office, Treasury, Admiralty and Navy Board, and First Fleet officers such as Arthur Phillip (governor) and John White (chief surgeon).
... obtained his lieutenant's passing certificate, be appointed to one of the Royal Navy ships going out to New South Wales. ... that if the young man behaved well, he would make him an officer, ifa vacancy offered during his command.
So the Admiralty needed to collect and file all the logs kept by the admirals, captains, commanders and lieutenants who served on its hundreds ofships, and all the correspondence to and from these officers. The Navy Board needed to know ...
the 'warrant' officers – masters, carpenters, gunners, cooks, surgeons – whom it appointed to the hundreds of ships; ... yard in the Thames was the main place for the inspection, repair and fitting out of Royal Navy ships in Britain.
(For example, from mid-October to midDecember 1786, the Admiralty, Navy Board, Deptford officers and its commander gave extended consideration of what size cannon the Supply should carry, which has left a sequence of twenty-two ...
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The First FleetUser Review - Thorpe-Bowker and Contributors - Books+Publishing
The First Fleet: The Real Story is a companion volume to Alan Frost┐s earlier book, Botany Bay: The Real Story. It deals with the same subject as David Hill┐s 1788, but unlike Hill, Frost is an ... Read full review
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