Convicts and Aborigines, settlers and soldiers, patriots and reformers, bushrangers and gold seekers: bestselling author Thomas Keneally has woven their lives and their stories together in a vibrant history which does full justice to the rich and colourful nature of Australia's unique national character. Taking the reader from pre-settlement to European occupation through to the Eureka Stockade of 1854, Keneally tells the story of Australia through its people.
Were the first European mothers whores or matriarchs?
Was the first generation of Australian children the luckiest or unluckiest on the planet?
How did this often cruel and brutal penal experiment lead to a coherent civil society?
To answer these and many more questions Keneally has brought to life the high and the low, the convict and the free of early Australian society.