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Sentenced to Debt: Robert Forrester, First Fleeter

Description Readers' Comments News and Updates Publication Details To Purchase

Readers' Comments

News and Updates

This second version of the very successful book ‘Robert Forrester, First Fleeter’, which was published in 2009, benefits from another ten years of thinking, the work of other researchers and feedback from my readers over the past decade. The book is a totally Australian-made production, professionally edited by Dalida Boustead and Ev Beissbarth, designed and set up by Sylvie Blair of BookPOD and printed in Melbourne.

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 in black & white and colour, hence the new title.

This biography offers 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 book is now available. Please click this link.

'Sentenced to Debt: Robert Forrester, First Fleeter' was to have been launched by the Hawkesbury Historical Society in Windsor, NSW until COVID-19 put paid to that idea - but is available through the Hawkesbury Regional Museum, at 8 Baker St, Windsor. 

Readers might like to consider some discussion points about this book.

Publication Details

Louise Wilson, South Melbourne, VIC, May 2020 
Paperback, 514 pages, 254 x 176 mm, with colour illustrations  

Online through BookPOD

At Hawkesbury Regional Museum, 8 Baker St, Windsor, NSW, Tel 02 4560 4655

To Purchase

Online through BookPOD.
Or contact the author.