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I was fortunate enough to be presented with this book for Christmas. The fact that I'm already posting a review on Boxing Day tells you what a gripping read it is!


There are many books about the founding of modern Australia in 1787-1788. Rob Mundle is a practical sailor as well as engaging writer, so writes about what he knows. He lays out the perils involved in the voyages, as well as the founding of the penal colony on what is now Sydney. The saga, interlaced with eye-witness accounts, is a compelling one. 


The historical background to the grand plan of transporting convicts from England is clearly sketched out. The First Fleet was remarkably well planned by Captain Arthur Phillip, especially given the politics and bureaucracy of the day. The preparation, the arduous voyage and the difficulties of the earliest days of settlement are vividly described. There are many anecdotes about the convicts and their activities, legal and otherwise. The first contacts with the Aboriginal population are also described, as well as the conflicts that arose. 


There are lengthy appendices with lists of seamen, marines and officers on the different ships in the fleet, as well as an alphabetical listing of the convicts, their ages and offences, sentences, occupation (if any!) and the ship they were assigned to.


All in all, a book I thoroughly recommend.


The First Fleet, Rob Mundle, ABC Books/Harper Collins Australia Pty Limited


 ISBN 978 0 7333 3236 4 (Hardback)

 ISBN 978 1 4607 0062 4 (ebook)

Be sure to sign up for an epic Nelson/Trafalgar project if you would like to see it made into a TV series  http://trafalgar.tv

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How about a bibliography, endnotes? Just curious. :)


Edited by russ
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Looks very interesting. His other books on Cook, Flinders and Bligh may be worth investigating as well.



Current Build: - OcCre Shackleton’s Endurance. 


Completed Ship Builds:

                                     Caldercraft - HM Bark Endeavour. (in Gallery)

                                    Caldercraft  - HMAV Bounty (in Gallery)

                                     Caldercraft - HM Brig Supply (In Gallery)

                                     Aeropiccola - Golden Hind

                                                        - Constitution

                                     Clipper Seawitch (maker unknown - too long ago to remember!)

                                     Corel - Victory

                                     Modeller's Shipyard - A Schooner of Port Jackson - In Gallery

                                                                      - Brig `Perseverance' - In Gallery

                                                                      - Cutter `Mermaid'- In Gallery

                                                                      - Sirius Longboat (bashed) - In Gallery

                                                                      - Sloop Norfolk - In Gallery

                                      Completed Cannon:   - French 18th Century Naval Cannon

                                                                      - Napoleonic 12 pound field piece

                                                                      - English 18th Century Carronade

                                       Non Ship Builds - Sopwith Camel - Artesania Latina

                                                                   - Fokker DR1 - Artesania Latina


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Russ: no formal bibliography, but various works are cited in the author's foreword. There is also a good glossary of nautical terms (probably unnecessary for this audience!) at the back of the book which I should also have mentioned.

Be sure to sign up for an epic Nelson/Trafalgar project if you would like to see it made into a TV series  http://trafalgar.tv

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