A Commonwealth of Thieves - The Improbable Birth of Australia-logo

A Commonwealth of Thieves - The Improbable Birth of Australia

Thomas Keneally

More Information

Genres:

History

Description:

It was 1786 when Arthur Phillip, an ambitious captain in the Royal Navy, was assigned the formidable task of organizing an expedition to Australia in order to establish a penal colony. The squalid and turbulent prisons of London were overflowing, and crime was on the rise. Even the hulks sifting at anchor in the Thames were packed with malcontent criminals and petty thieves. So the English government decided to undertake the unprecedented move of shipping off its convicts to a largely unexplored landmass at the other end of the world. Using the personal journals and documents that were kept during this expedition, historian/novelist Thomas Keneally re-creates the grueling overseas voyage, a hellish, suffocating journey that claimed the lives of many convicts. Miraculously, the fleet reached the shores of what was then called New South Wales in 1788, and after much trial and error, the crew managed to set up a rudimentary yet vibrant settlement. As governor of the colony, Phillip took on the challenges of dealing with unruly convicts, disgruntled officers, a bewildered, sometimes hostile native population, as well as such serious matters as food shortages and disease. Moving beyond Phillip, Keneally offers captivating portrayals of Aborigines, who both aided and opposed Phillip, and of the settlers, including convicts who were determined to overcome their pasts and begin anew. With the authority of a renowned historian and the narrative grace of a brilliant novelist, Thomas Keneally offers an insider's perspective into the dramatic saga of the birth of a vibrant society in an unfamiliar land. A Commonwealth of Thieves immerses us in the fledgling penal colony and conjures up colorful scenes of the joy and heartbreak, the thrills and hardships that characterized those first four improbable years. The result is a lively and engrossing work of history, as well as a tale of redemption for the thousands of convicts who started new lives thousands of miles from their homes. .

Language:

English

Narrators:

Simon Vance

Length:

12h 28m


Chapters

Free Sample

05:00

Introduction
Introduction

00:31


Part 1, Chapter 1
Part 1, Chapter 1

38:02


Part 1, Chapter 2
Part 1, Chapter 2

23:43


Part 1, Chapter 3
Part 1, Chapter 3

14:16


Part 1, Chapter 4
Part 1, Chapter 4

30:35


Part 1, Chapter 5
Part 1, Chapter 5

21:07


Part 1, Chapter 6
Part 1, Chapter 6

44:03


Part 1, Chapter 7
Part 1, Chapter 7

27:12


Part 1, Chapter 8
Part 1, Chapter 8

18:34


Part 1, Chapter 9
Part 1, Chapter 9

16:29


Part 1, Chapter 10
Part 1, Chapter 10

12:19


Part 1, Chapter 11
Part 1, Chapter 11

28:49


Part 1, Chapter 12
Part 1, Chapter 12

26:48


Part 1, Chapter 13
Part 1, Chapter 13

39:08


Part 1, Chapter 14
Part 1, Chapter 14

12:18


Part 2, Chapter 15
Part 2, Chapter 15

22:27


Part 2, Chapter 16
Part 2, Chapter 16

33:38


Part 2, Chapter 17
Part 2, Chapter 17

07:29


Part 2, Chapter 18
Part 2, Chapter 18

15:04


Part 2, Chapter 19
Part 2, Chapter 19

15:14


Part 2, Chapter 20
Part 2, Chapter 20

32:29


Part 2, Chapter 21
Part 2, Chapter 21

25:55


Part 2, Chapter 22
Part 2, Chapter 22

34:34


Part 2, Chapter 23
Part 2, Chapter 23

27:04


Part 2, Chapter 24
Part 2, Chapter 24

28:43


Part 2, Chapter 25
Part 2, Chapter 25

18:44


Part 2, Chapter 26
Part 2, Chapter 26

21:01


Part 2, Chapter 27
Part 2, Chapter 27

11:59


Part 2, Chapter 28
Part 2, Chapter 28

20:55


Part 2, Chapter 29
Part 2, Chapter 29

34:02


Part 2, Chapter 30
Part 2, Chapter 30

44:28


Part 2, Chapter 31
Part 2, Chapter 31

00:24