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A brilliant recreation of the first four years of white settlement in Australia by acclaimed and bestselling author Tom Keneally.

In 1787, Britain banished its unwanted citizens - uneducated petty thieves, streetwalkers, orphan chimneysweeps and dashing highwaymen - to the fringes of the known world. So remote was Botany Bay - the destination to which the overcrowded, disease-ridden convict ships were bound - that only one European expedition had ever before anchored there. Yet the rejects of Britain, accompanied only by a flimsy complement of soldiers, marines and officers, were expected to start a settlement and flourish. It was an audacious social experiment, unparalleled before or since. To the indigenous inhabitants, the white men came as ghosts through cracks in the cosmos, rudely seizing the bounty of land and sea. On the swampy shores of Botany Bay, and by the sandstone coves of Sydney Harbour, the clash of civilisations was ineviteable, intense and often tragic. From this improbable beginning, through famine, drought, escapes and floggings, the glory of modern Sydney was born. Britain's penal experiment succeeded against all odds. Impeccably researched and told in the inimitable Keneally style, THE COMMONWEALTH OF THIEVES is the compelling tale of a nation's beginning, its unforgettable people and their quest for identity.

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781741666137

    December 3, 2007

    Vintage Australia

    528 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781742742663

    January 4, 2011

    RHA eBooks Adult

    524 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • iBooks
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Tom Keneally

The Daughters Of Mars
The Unmourned
The Soldier's Curse
Crimes of the Father
Napoleon's Last Island
The Place at Whitton
A Country Too Far: Teacher's Edition
The Great Australian Writers' Collection 2013
Shame and the Captives
A Country Too Far
Bring Larks and Heroes:Text Classics
Three Famines
The People's Train
Searching For Schindler
Three Cheers For The Paraclete
The Widow And Her Hero
Roos In Shoes
The Tyrant's Novel
An Angel In Australia
American Scoundrel
Bettany's Book
The Great Shame
Jacko