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Convicted of forgery at the age of 23, David Dickenson Mann narrowly escaped hanging and was transported instead to New South Wales, where he arrived in 1799. Three years later he received a full pardon and was soon working in the secretary's office of the colonial government. Mann fell foul of Governor Wiliam Bligh and was about to leave for England, but in 1808 found himself in favour with the rebel government that deposed him. The Present Picture of New South Wales, dedicated to the recently arrived Governor John Hunter, gives a detailed account of the colony . It includes a brief history, an A-Z encyclopedia of political and economic progress and Mann's own ideas on the future development of New South Wales. Mann returned to England in 1809, where he published his book in 1811, dying in the same year. - Summary by Phil Benson