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The Commonwealth of Thieves: The Story of the Founding of Australia (MP3)
Written by:
Tom Keneally 
Read by:
Simon Vance 
Unabridged MP3 CD Audio Book 
Number of CDs:
12 hours 28 minutes 
MP3 size:
515 MB 
January 28 2019 
Available Date:
January 28 2019 
Age Category:
Fiction; Australian Fiction; Historical Fiction; Literary Fiction 
Bolinda audio 
Bolinda price
GBP£ 17.98
GBP£ 17.98

#1 bestselling author

A lively history of the 'First Fleet' which took convicts from Britain to Australia in 1787; Sydney's early years as 'an open-air prison'; and the colonisation of New South Wales.

The story of modern Australia begins in eighteenth-century Britain, where people were hanged for petty offences but crime was rife, and the gaols were bursting. From this situation was born the Sydney experiment, with criminals perceived to be damaging British society transported to Sydney, an 'open air prison with walls 14,000 miles thick'. Eleven ships were dispatched in 1781, and arrived in Australia after eight hellish months at sea. Tom Keneally describes the first four years of the 'thief colony' and how, despite the escapes, the floggings, the murders and the rebellions, it survived against the odds to create a culture which would never have been tolerated in its homeland but which, in Australia, became part of the identity of a new and audacious nation.

'The Commonwealth of Thieves is immaculately researched and historically exact ... an account of an extraordinary event described with gusto and sympathy.'
The Guardian

'Keneally has always had a grand talent for the telling of a tale. His rattling account of the genesis of his native city is one of his very best.'
The Times

'Keneally has deployed his outstanding talents as a narrative writer to produce an enlivening, informative and judicious book about his country's troubled origins.'
The Herald