Across Great Divides: True Stories of Life at Sydney Cove

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 332 pages
Author: S. Boyer
Year: 2013
ISBN: 9781877074424
Publisher: Birrong Books

"All communication with family and friends now cut off, we are leaving the world behind us, to enter a state of unknown ..." so wrote David Collins aboard one of the eleven ships entering the vast, uncharted waters of the Southern Ocean. Hundreds of people - men, women and children - were being taken against their will, to a mysterious land of the edge of the world.

The stories in these pages are all true, and they take you on a journey into the hearts and minds of those who experienced life in Australia's first colony. They vividly capture the struggle of the early years: the excitement of discovery, fear of the unknown and the elation of hard-won success.

As you become immersed in their stories you will feel their anticipation, distress and the fear and wonders of the Australian bush. Across Great Divides: True Stories of Life at Sydney Cove brings to life the diverse experiences of people living in the precarious circumstances of Australia's first penal colony.

This is also the story of worlds colliding. No two societies were less alike that the British about to land from the ships and the black people looking out from the shoreline at the "huge winged islands" coming in from the sea. Yet meeting between the cultures would be dynamic and varied. Amongst the soldiers, convicts, free settlers, and Aborgines there were secret pacts, daring plots and illicit affairs and well as optimist and visionaries.

The stories in Across Great Divides give the different perspectives of military men who had volunteers for a tour of duty in the remote colony. Marine officers Watkin Tench, William Dawes, George Johnston, Philip Gidley King, and Captain John Hunter left valuable links to past times through their diaries, letters and journals. Arthur Phillip, the colony's first governor also wrote letters which give us insight into the dilemma plaguing his mind.


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Cost of book: $26.95 (inc GST)
Postage within Australia: $6.95
Postage for outside Australia: please contact for a quote

For orders or inquiries please send details to:
Susan E. Boyer
PO Box 255
Glenbook, NSW 2773
Email: or
Phone: (02) 4739 1538

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Across Great Divides: True Stories of Life at Sydney Cove


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