> Skip to content

This is the story of how a struggling convict settlement grew into six dynamic colonies and then the remarkable nation of Australia. Told through the key figures who helped build it into the thriving nation it is today, David Hill once again offers up Australian history at its most entertaining and accessible.

This is the story of how a struggling convict settlement grew into six dynamic colonies and then the remarkable nation of Australia. Told through the key figures who helped build it into the thriving nation it is today, David Hill once again offers up Australian history at its most entertaining and accessible.

In his latest book, David Hill traces the story of our nation from its European beginnings to Federation. When James Cook landed on the east coast of Australia, the rest of the world had some idea of how empty, vast and wild this continent was, but so little was known of it that in 1788 most people thought it was two lands.

In the subsequent years, its coastline was charted, its interior opened up, and its cities, laws and economy developed. In this riveting, wide-ranging history, David Hill traces how this happened through the key figures who built this country into the thriving nation it is today: from its prescient and fair-minded first governor, Arthur Phillip, to the unpopular William Bligh, the victim of the country’s first and only military coup; from the visionary builder and law-maker Lachlan Macquarie to William Wentworth, the son of a convict who secured Australia’s first elected parliament; from Henry Parkes, the grand old man of politics who started the fraught process of Federation, to the first prime minister, Edmund Barton. It was Barton who formed the first Australian government just in time for the inaugural celebrations on 1 January 1900, when the nation of Australia was born!

David Hill is one of our most popular writers of Australian history. His previous books, The Forgotten Children, 1788, The Gold Rush and The Great Race have all been bestsellers.

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781742757674

    June 1, 2015

    William Heinemann Australia

    480 pages

    RRP $22.99

    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

  • Trade Paperback

    9781742757667

    October 1, 2014

    William Heinemann Australia

    480 pages

    RRP $34.99

    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

    9781742757681

    October 1, 2014

    RHA eBooks Adult

    480 pages

    Online retailers

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

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by David Hill

The Fair and the Foul
1788
The Special Relationship
Australia and the Monarchy
The Great Race
The Gold Rush
The Forgotten Children

Recommendations

Gallipoli
Depends What You Mean by Extremist
The Fair and the Foul
Australian Desperadoes
The Fatal Shore
The Shepherd's Life
Guns, Germs And Steel
Histories of Controversy
Into the Heart of Tasmania
The Commonwealth Of Thieves
Caledonia Australis
Beersheba Centenary Edition
The Last Shilling
From the Edge
Shooting the Picture
Hitler's First Victims
Diggers, Hatters & Whores
Crack Hardy
You'll Never Take Me Alive
Manning Clark On Gallipoli