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About the book
  • Published: 2 January 2003
  • ISBN: 9780099448549
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 720
  • RRP: $19.99
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The Fatal Shore




'An extraordinarily vivid yet authentic account of the birthpangs of a nation. A work of real distinction' Philip Ziegler

An award-winning epic on the birth of Australia

In 1787, the twenty-eighth year of the reign of King George III, the British Government sent a fleet to colonise Australia.

Documenting the brutal transportation of men, women and children out of Georgian Britain into a horrific penal system which was to be the precursor to the Gulag and was the origin of Australia, The Fatal Shore is the definitive, masterfully written narrative that has given its true history to Australia.

'A unique phantasmagoria of crime and punishment, which combines the shadowy terrors of Goya with the tumescent life of Dickens' Times

  • Pub date: 2 January 2003
  • ISBN: 9780099448549
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 720
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes, art critic of Time magazine and twice winner of the American College Art Association's F. J. Mather Award for distinguished criticism, is author of The Shock of the New, and of Heaven and Hell in Western Art. He is also author of the acclaimed Nothing if Not Critical, a work on Frank Auerbach; Barcelona, and Culture of Complaint, essays on the fraying of America. Robert Hughes died in August 2012.

Also by Robert Hughes

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Praise for The Fatal Shore

“A unique phantasmagoria of crime and punishment, which combines the shadowy terrors of Goya with the tumescent life of Dickens”

Peter Ackroyd, The Times

“A triumph of research, passion and fine writing. I found it an extraordinary and compelling book to read, one of fantastic scope and imagination; truly a tour de force”

William Shawcross

“An enthralling account of the convict settlement of Australia, thoroughly researched and excellently written, brimming over with rare and pungent characters, and tales of pathos, bravery, and horror”

Peter Matthiessen

“Popular history in the best sense...its attention to human detail and its commanding prose call to mind the best work of Barbara Tuchman”

Washington Post


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