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The Commonwealth of Thieves


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A lively history of the 'First Fleet' which took convicts from Britain to Australia in 1787; Sydney's early years as 'an open-air prison'; and the colonisation of New South Wales.

About the Author

Thomas Keneally is married with two daughters and a grandson, and lives most of the year in Sydney, Australia. His numerous books include novels, memoirs and history. He has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times, and won it in 1982 with Schindler's Ark since made by Steven Spielberg into the internationally acclaimed film Schindler's List.


Australia is lucky to have Keneally. Few writers have a public voice that one wants to take to the bedroom... He gets down and dirty with his characters form their perspective at the time... complex moderate and humane... likely to endure -- Nicholas Shakespeare * Daily Telegraph *
Evocative, broad-ranging and intelligently observed * Mail on Sunday *
Keneally has deployed his outstanding talents as a narrative writer to produce an enlivening, informative and judicious book about his country's troubled origins -- Barclay McBain * Herald *
Keneally has always had a grand talent for the telling of a tale. His rattling account of the genesis of his native city is one of his very best -- Carmen Callil * The Times *
The Commonwealth of Thieves is immaculately researched and historically exact... a great read and a useful scholarly account of an extraordinary event described with gusto and sympathy -- Kate Grenville * Guardian *

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