The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia's Founding

The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia's Founding

by Robert Hughes
4.1 9

Paperback(1st Vintage Books edition)

$15.07 $21.95 Save 31% Current price is $15.07, Original price is $21.95. You Save 31%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Get it by Friday, August 25 , Order now and choose Expedited Delivery during checkout.
    Same Day delivery in Manhattan. 


The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia's Founding by Robert Hughes

In this bestselling account of the colonization of Australia, Robert Hughes explores how the convict transportation system created the country we know today.

Digging deep into the dark history of England's infamous efforts to move 160,000 men and women thousands of miles to the other side of the world in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Hughes has crafted a groundbreaking, definitive account of the settling of Australia.

Tracing the European presence in Australia from early explorations through the rise and fall of the penal colonies, and featuring 16 pages of illustrations and 3 maps, The Fatal Shore brings to life the incredible true history of a country we thought we knew.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780394753669
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/28/1988
Edition description: 1st Vintage Books edition
Pages: 752
Sales rank: 89,917
Product dimensions: 5.14(w) x 7.99(h) x 1.49(d)

About the Author

Robert Hughes was born in Australia in 1938. In 1970, he moved to the United States to become chief art critic for Time, a position he held until 2001. His books include The Shock of the New, The Fatal Shore, Nothing if Not Critical, The Culture of Complaint, Barcelona, American Visions, A Jerk on One End, Goya, Things I Didn’t Know, and Rome.  He is a New York Public Library Literary Lion and was the recipient of a number of literary awards and prizes, including two Frank Jewell-Mather Awards. He is widely held as the most respected art critic of our time.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia's Founding 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was purchased for preparation for our only trip to Australia. The travel guide book we have talks about visiting prison/ museum and this sparked my interest in learning more about the history. The Aboriginal story of Australia is pretty well documented, but I knew very little about the English penal colony history. The connection that threw me a loop, is after 1776, and the Revolutionary war, the US refused to have any more English convicts brought to her shores (In History class, all I remember is the Mayflower...) among other reasons, because 47,000 slaves were coming to our shores yearly from the African continent, greater numbers than England could send for cheap labor. England had chosen to not build or repair their prisons, so kept sending them to off-shore countries, and Australia was that far-off colony that could be easily forgotten about. I am only into chapter 3, and appreciate the amount of information Robert Hughes has that is not included in school history books. I think the trip to Australia will be much more interesting for having read this book, and from today's economic wows, I also see historically, Americans, as well as other Western cultures, are addiction to cheap labor (whether it is on our shores, or in developing/under developed countries).
JohnP51 More than 1 year ago
I read this book when it first came out in paperback about 20 years ago or so. I was riveted to it back then and have remained so since. Robert Hughes writes an 841-page history of the founding of Australia as a convict colony in 1788 until its demise as such a century later. And he does so in such an easy to read and comprehend method that it is like reading a James Mitchener saga instead of a history book. If you are interested in this subject at all, this book is for you. I was so glad to see it come out in nook book format since I loaned out my well-worn paperback version and never got it back.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A vast, absorbing tale of Australia's beginnings. It was a wonderful introduction before our trip Down Under, but by itself the book is a fascinating history. How does a great country arise from a penal colony? This book answers the question.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Fatal Shore is a compelling read on the history of Australia, England’s ruthless transportation of tens of thousands of prisoners and its colonization of Australia. A must for anyone interested in the early years of life Down Under, the victimization of the aborigines, and Britain’s vast reach historically and in the present.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BeeMD More than 1 year ago
I read this because I'm planning a trip to Australia and New Zealand in a few months. It's not a "pretty" read, but tells the story. Scholarly but not dry. It fills in the background of the English social and political situations at the time which led to transportation as the means of dealing with "crime and criminals".
Guest More than 1 year ago
I could not finish this book. How mistreated and destitute the convicts were is overstated and reiterated throughout not only the book or each chapter, but on almost every page.