Watkin Tench's 1788
Watkin Tench sailed to Australia with the First Fleet in 1788. In his late twenties, a captain of the marines, he was insatiably curious about the new British colony of Australia. In his four years in the country, he wrote two books about the early settlement that were bestsellers in their day: A Narrative of the Expedition to Botany Bay (1789) and An Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson (1793). Both are included in full in this edition, lovingly edited by Tim Flannery.
Tench is the most readable of writers, and his books are fascinating for the vivid portraits they provide of early Australia. He introduces us to the iconic figures of Arthur Phillip and Bennelong, and provides fascinating descriptions of the infant colony. This popular edition of his two books should be read by every Australian.
Tench stands out amongst the storytellers of Australian history because of his lively and accessible writing, his ability to tell his tale with gusto and wit.
Tench will always remain the classic contemporary witness of our beginnings.' Les Murray
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Abaroo Aborigines acres animal appeared Arabanoo arrival Baneelon Barangaroo behaviour boat Boladeree Botany Bay Broken Bay brought canoe Cape Captain Hunter cause coast Colbee colony continued convicts countrymen Cove cultivation direction distance endeavours England Excellency expedition farther fire fish fish-gig fleet former Governor Phillip ground harbour hatchet Hawkesbury head heard honour hope huts Imeerawanyee immediately Indians kangaroo labour land latitude Lieutenant maize marines miles months morning Nanbaree natives never night Norfolk Island number of persons o'clock observed officers party passed perhaps Port Jackson pounds present procured provisions received remarks Richmond Hill river Rose Hill sailed seemed seen sergeant settlement settlers ships shore side Sirius soil soldier soon South Wales South Wales corps spear strangers Supply Sydney Sydney Cove tion trees tribe voyage Watkin Tench whale wheat women wood wound