Loosely based on the notebooks of astronomer William Dawes, The
split our readers into two distinct groups. About two-thirds of
those who reviewed it loved it, but a few of the remainder were considerably less enthusiastic:
In this beautifully written and delightful novel, Grenville seamlessly
weaves historical fact together with a multitude of philosophical questions in
order to create a vivid and compelling story (Eileen P). The book explores the huge themes of friendship, the conflict between cultures, and courage. As one man discovers himself he finds that he has it within him to follow his conscience no matter what the cost. All intertwined with the magic of language, mathematics, and astronomy (Maryanne K).
If you are interested in the Aboriginals and how the first penal colony was
Beyond the Book
The Australian Penal Colonies
You might wonder why Britain would choose to send ships filled with convicts
and their jailors to, quite literally, the other side of the world. The
answer is simple economics.
In the 1780s, the British population was increasing fast, as were the effects of
the Industrial Revolution which led to the displacement of a great many people who, without land, rights or jobs, were reduced to stealing.
Meanwhile, Britain, having lost the American Colonies, was on the lookout for
new land to colonize. The east coast of Australia, charted by The
in 1770, looked like it had potential. So it was decided
that instead of using slaves, the infrastructure of the new colony would be...