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In 1788, 11 small ships set sail from England on an eight-month-long voyage over rough seas, carrying 1,500 people, food for two years, and all the equipment needed to build a colony of convicts in a new land. The journey itself was one of unbearable hardship, but also of extraordinary resilience. This entrancing history brings the sights, sounds, sufferings, and joys of the “First Fleeters” back to life. Journals, letters, reports, and pleas to England are all interwoven here with the author's own insight, and together they convey the innermost horrors and joys of the very first European Australians