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Sentenced to Debt: Robert Forrester, First Fleeter


Description Readers' Comments News and Updates Publication Details To Purchase





This second version of the very successful book ‘Robert Forrester, First Fleeter’, which was first published in 2009, benefits from another ten years of thinking, the work of other researchers and feedback from my readers over the past decade. 


A great deal more prominence has been given to the Aboriginal story and to Governor Arthur Phillip. The women have a much sharper focus too, especially the remarkable Isabella Ramsay. Time, money and effort has gone into investigating Robert’s origins, including the use of DNA testing. The content of most chapters has been substantially revised, especially the chapters covering the 1783 trial at the Old Bailey, the location of Robert’s 1791 grant on Norfolk Island, the location of Robert’s 1794 land grant at the Hawkesbury and the 1794 and 1799 killings of the Aboriginal boys at Cornwallis.


The process of refining the narrative, always keeping the focus on Robert and Isabella, has brought radical changes in emphasis with each new piece of material unearthed. Identities and chronologies have been sorted out and almost every page contains an amendment, major or minor. The result is a fundamentally different book, with 114 illustrations and 32 maps, hence the new title.


This book is a detailed case study of the first four decades of colonial Australia, offering a new perspective on this historical period. It aims to engage a readership well beyond family history circles, including historians, local historians, school students, teachers and librarians, even future playwrights and filmmakers.


The expected publication date is mid-April 2020. Please email the author if you'd like to be added to the waiting list.

Readers' Comments


Yet to come. 

News and Updates


The book has been edited and is currently being set up in 'In Design'. The proof-checking and printing process will follow. The publishing company estimates that the book will be available by Easter. Some information for those wishing to pre-order the book at a discounted price will be posted soon.

'Sentenced to Debt: Robert Forrester, First Fleeter' will be launched by the Hawkesbury Historical Society in Windsor, NSW at a date to be advised.

Publication Details


The anticipated publication date is mid-April 2020.

To Purchase


Not yet available for purchase. A pre-purchase option at a slightly discounted price will be announced soon. If you would like to join the waiting list for 'Sentenced to Debt: Robert Forrester, First Fleeter', please email the author.