Queensland Premier's Literary Awards, Best History Book, 2004.
In January 1788 the First Fleet arrived in New South Wales and a thousand British men and women, some of them convicts and some of them free, encountered the people who would be their new neighbours-the beach nomads of Australia.
Clendinnen offers a fresh reading of reports, letters and journals of the first British settlers in Australia. She reconstructs the difficult path to friendship and conciliation pursued by Arthur Phillip and the local leader 'Bennelong' (Baneelon); and then traces the painful destruction of that hard-won friendship as profound cultural differences asserted themselves.
This critically acclaimed and award-winning work will change the way we think about how Australia came into being and how our history is shaped.
'A masterful book, elegantly conceived and written with narrative brilliance. Clendinnen is witty, incisively poetic and flawed with humanity.' Age