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Love, murder, betrayal, and adventure with the transportation of convicts from Britain in 1787 and the founding of the penal colony that became Australia.
With the American colonies closed to Britain the goals overflowed and the criminal under-class posed a growing threat to the property-owning classes. A solution was required to deal with the overcrowded prisons. The answer lay in colonizing the continent on the far side of the world – Terra Australis Incognito; the unknown continent.
Claimed for Britain by James Cook during his first voyage of discovery in April 1770, the government of the day launched an ambitious project; to make use of the criminal class to develop a new colony. Its aim to find a new source of trade and a establish a new base for Britain’s Royal Navy to support the burgeoning empire. The First Fleet of eleven ships left Portsmouth in May 1787 tasked with those objectives. The First Fleet of convicts. The great experiment so nearly failed.
Jack Vizzard, a young and raw marine officer of affluent background, becomes a member of the expedition. Lawyer, newly commissioned subaltern and a murderer, Vizzard finds his acts of betrayal follow him to New Holland. But what awaits him there? Retribution and reconciliation? Or ignominy and death?