This beautifully written, absorbing and thoughtful book tells the story of the first white Australians to be born in this land. Born here before 1850, most were the children of convicts. They had no access to land and no education, and the free settlers generally treated them with contempt, as second-rate citizens.
Yet for all their second-class standing, for all the discrimination from those arriving free, the native-born have had a significant effect on the development of what it is to be Australian.
The author was curious to discover how they thought of themselves--what it meant to them to be Australian. He draws fascinating links between their experience and attitudes and those of all children of immigrant parents--up to the present day.
Contents:AcknowledgementsIntroduction1. 'I am an Australian'2. The Making of the Native-Born3. The Life of the 'Lower Orders'4. 'Fixed to the Soil'5. Critics and Cricketers6. 'Germs of a Wild Democracy'7. A Republic of the FreeEpilogueNotesBibliographyIndex