1787: The Lost Chapters of Australia's Beginnings

Author(s): Nick Brodie


For over 200 years Australia's official history has focused on English colonisation and 'discovery', with tales of British explorers and first generation white Australians navigating the vast and unfriendly land. But what of the millennia before the English claimed Australia as their own and wrote the history books. 1787 traces the journey of Australia before the infamous 1788 date, to explore just how 'discovered' the southern continent was by not only the Indigenous Australians who had lived and prospered for thousands of years, but also the sailors, traders, fishermen and many others who had visited our shores.
This is not about voyages of 'discovery', cartography, geography, or hero-captains and their sailing ship adventures. This is a bigger history--of the rise and fall of empires, the shifts in global economies, and their impact on Australia. By charting the encounters with Australia and its original people by several major groups of visitors, primarily the Portuguese, Dutch, Malay, French, and British from the late Middle Ages, 1787 reveals the stories of first encounters between Indigenous Australians and foreigners, placing Indigenous Australians back into our known history rather than a timeless pre-historical one. It's a fascinating story that shifts focus away from post-colonial history and engages the reader in the eventful and lively stories of Australia as a vast and active land participating in a global history.


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"...in this path-breaking book, if we broaden our gaze, our story will widen. If we follow Brodie's sage advice, we are compelled, as readers and writers, to look beyond "the 'discovery-then-settlement' triumphalist children's tale we have been fed for several generations". This will surely lead us to a more inclusive understanding of Australasia's collective past and path, he argues." Ross Fitgerald, The Sydney Morning Herald " 1787 does not stand for a year-it stands for an idea. This is the sweeping story of Greater Australasia and its peoples, a long-overdue challenge to the myth that Australia's story started in 1788." Books & Publishing "..Brodie's accessible writing is not about voyages of "discovery" to Australia but about the big picture of the rise and fall of empires, the shifts in global economies and their impact on Australia. This is a fascinating story that engagingly details the stories and encounters in our history - long before the British were bound for Botany Bay." Daily Review "There's not room here to expound on its achievements, except to say that it is history - incisive, provocative, meticulously researched - at its best." - The Guardian

Dr Nicolas Brodie is a historian and qualified archaeologist. He has written a history of St Mary's Cathedral, alongside several other academic papers, and is an experienced public speaker, having lectured at the University of Tasmania and Cambridge and given interviews on ABC radio and 7.30 Stateline. Nick Brodie's book Kin was published in July 2015 and received excellent reviews.

General Fields

  • : 9781743791608
  • : Hardie Grant Books
  • : E2
  • : 0.439985
  • : September 2016
  • : 234mm X 153mm
  • : Australia
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Nick Brodie
  • : Paperback
  • : 1
  • : English
  • : 994.01
  • : 304
  • : Text only