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The First Fleet

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  212 ratings  ·  21 reviews
The first fleet - the creation of a nation. Bestselling Maritme Biographer, Rob Mundle, is back on the ocean with a blockbuster. First Fleet tells the extraordinary story of the eighteenth century convoy of eleven ships that left England on 13th May 1787 for the 'land beyond the seas'. Aboard were seafarers, convicts, marines and a few good citizens - some 1300 hundred in ...more
Hardcover, 512 pages
Published October 1st 2014 by ABC Books
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  212 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Max Coggan
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
An account of the eleven ships that sailed to Australia under Captain Phillip.The journey and the early colonisation.
Michael Cunningham
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Eleven ships sail across the world to found a penal colony, how interesting is that? This excellent nautically flavoured history humanizes the people who made this journey, their roles on land and sea, and their suffering as supplies dwindle and there are no sails on the horizon. I felt part of the story, privy to the private conversations and thoughts of Phillip, their wise and humane governor.
Sep 28, 2018 rated it liked it
A great constructed narrative of the voyage of the First Fleet from England to Australia. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator brought even more life to this story. I was disappointed that the author put a lot of effort into Arthur Phillip and the English’s perspective but didn’t offer an alternative perspective or point of view to the local indigenous people. I understand that the book is focused on a naval perspective and the first fleet, but the colonial descriptions of “natives” was ...more
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fascinating read for those who have little knowledge about maritime history and Australian history. I found the voyage of the First Fleet very interesting as well as the anguish and difficulties faced by Arthur Phillip when he was tasked with setting up a colony.
Helen O'Shaughnessy
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
The First Fleet, based primarily on diaries of those aboard. Like FitzSimon, the author manages to draw together multiple sources into a fascinating tale, in the modern context.
Rupert Grech
Jan 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Just as well written and researched as his book on Capt. Cook but I found it not quite as interesting and including too much unnecessary minutiae (especially the first half).
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A well written book of an extraordinary series of events. Every Australian should read this, for a better understanding of what was involved in the founding of the country.
Easy to read, informative and entertaining. I hope to read all the other books by this author now too!
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A series of inextricably entwined truths, beautifully told.
Inspirational history at its finest.
Tony K
Jul 04, 2020 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this and have developed a greater level of interest in Australian history.
Alex Coates
Succinct, easy-to-read and enjoyable, but was at times lacking in detail. Mundle prefaces the book by mentioning that he is not a historian, but he does make good use of diary entries throughout.
It gives a good broad account of the First Fleet from preparations in England, to the arrival of the Second Fleet.
May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a fascinating book, detailing the experiences of the First Fleet from the time they were assembled in England to the time when Governor Arthur Phillip returned to England. It gives lists of the ships, their crew and passengers, and all the supplies, and also a very long list of each of the convicts, their ages, gender, crime and sentence. There is also a comprehensive glossary of (mostly) nautical terms used in the book.

I learnt so much that I had never been taught at school, and found
Antony Dabonde
Dec 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Interesting account of the conception of the first fleet, its journey to Australia and the founding of the first settlement. There is a lot of attention to historical evidence/details and it was pretty cool learning the history of some of the iconic places surrounding Sydney.
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Read this while in Australia. was given to me by a friend from Tasmania whose female ancestor arrived with the fleet. Really well written with Mundle keeping the reader involved in the planning of the expedition right through to the difficulties and traumas of early life in Australia.
Peter Langston
Jan 27, 2016 rated it liked it
I have always enjoyed Mundle's sea faring accounts. This is not his best work but can be seen as an adjunct to other similar works on the subject. He brings a sailor's passion to the narrative at sea but he labours once the Gutsy Fleeters arrive.
Benjamin Farr
Aug 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, australia
A comprehensive, riviting account of the First Fleet's voyage to Australia, as told by an author with good knowledge of, and experience with, seafaring.
Amanda Witt
well written, not too technical but not dumbed down either. Shows the real struggle the first settlers had here, with no provisions, electricity/refrigeration or infrastructure.
Rebecca Hilton
Jan 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting account. Mainly easy to read. Fairly simple explanations which I found annoying.
Ian Perkins
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wonderful story - useful reading for all Australians
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Always great stuff from Rob Mundle, love his books!
Aug 01, 2016 rated it liked it
A nautical view of the first fleet
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Rob Mundle is the author of the highly acclaimed international bestseller Fatal Storm. He has written six other books, including the bestselling Sir James Hardy: An Adventurous Life, Alan Bond’s authorised biography,Bond, and Life at the Extreme, the official record of the 2005/2006 Volvo Ocean Race round the world. He lives in Main Beach, Queensland.

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