A groundbreaking history of the colony of Sydney in its early years, from the sparkling harbour to the Cumberland Plain, from convicts to the city's political elite, from the impact of its geology to its economy.
Winner of the 2010 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Non-Fiction
'Grace Karskens writes with the passion and insight of a novelist, and the accuracy of a historian. To read it is to have one's imagination stretched.' - Thomas Keneally, Sydney Morning Herald
The Colony is the story of the marvellously contrary, endlessly energetic early years of Sydney. It is an intimate account of the transformation of a campsite in a beautiful cove to the town that later became Australia's largest and best-known city.
From the sparkling beaches to the foothills of the Blue Mountains, Grace Karskens skilfully reveals how landscape shaped the lives of the original Aboriginal inhabitants and newcomers alike. She traces the ways in which relationships between the colonial authorities and ordinary men and women broke with old patterns, and the ways that settler and Aboriginal histories became entwined. She uncovers the ties between the burgeoning township and its rural hinterland expanding along the river systems of the Cumberland Plain.
Enthusiastically received on first publication, this is a landmark account of the birthplace of modern Australia, and a fascinating and richly textured narrative of people and place.
Grace Karskens is Professor of History at the University of New South Wales and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. She is the author of The Rocks, winner of the 1998 NSW Premier's History Award, and of People of the River.
Short-listed NSW Premier's History Awards, The Australian History Prize 2010 AU; Short-listed Queensland Premier's Literary Awards, History Book 2010 AU; Winner Urban History Association's Best Book Award, International 2010 US; Winner Prime Minister's Literary Awards, Non-fiction 2010 AU; Short-listed Manning Clark House National Cultural Awards, Individual category 2009 AU
Table Of Contents:
1. Deep time and human history
2. Encounters in Eora country
3. The Camp, the canvas
4. Food from a common industry
5. Seeding and breeding
6. Views from Flagstaff Hill
7. Landscape artists: the Macquaries in Sydney
8. The face of the country
9. Nefarious geographies
10. A very bountiful place indeed
11. Soft colony
12. Taking possession
13. War on the Cumberland Plain
List of illustrations and sources
Allen & Unwin
Allen & Unwin
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Australasian & Pacific history