A great source on Australian history that's not that hard to read, although, I learned many new words (British terms that are not used in my day). Interesting how Aussies didn't want to be reminded of their beginnings, they were ashamed. Most of the criminals were the poor suffering thru economic hard times, and who stole items like food or fabric or shoes and were punished beyond belief. This is history that should be known so it stops repeating itself. Great book to read.
The verve of the writing is hard to escape, one can scarcely believe that one has read a six hundred page book.
Most of the book is a detailed history of the english-speaking gulag system up until the 1840's, with very little about the late 19th century.
I hated history in school too, but this book reads more like a novel. Mesmerizing and horrifying at the same time, it chronicles another “proud” moment in British history. Eruditely written, well organized. Though long at 600 pages, the space is well used with relevant and chronological detail.
As Boring As The History We Hated In School!, May 22, 2012
The first third was ok,but after that I skimmed through to the end,and relief at last!
Not written in a way to make it interesting.It is extremely tedious to read.Reads exactly like a textbook.
I am hoping I will be able to find a book about the founding of Australia that is actually an *engaging* read. The Fatal Shore missed that mark by a long shot!
This book is an absolutely fantastic read - it reads like a novel - unlike a 'history' book! It's a great history on both England's penal system and Australia's birth. If this subject interests you, you must read this book.
Comprehensive, excellent writing
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