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Almost half of the convicts who came to Australia came to Van Diemen's Land. There they found a land of bounty and a penal society, a kangaroo economy and a new way of life.
In this book, James Boyce shows how the convicts were changed by the natural world they encountered. Escaping authority, they soon settled away from the towns, dressing in kangaroo skin and living off the land. Behind the official attempt to create a Little England was another story of adaptation, in which the poor, the exiled and the criminal made a new home in a strange land.
This is their story, the story of Van Diemen's Land.
Winner of the 2009 Tasmania Book Prize, the 2008 Colin Roderick Award and the H.T. Priestley Memorial Medal
Shortlisted for the 2009 Prime Minister's Literary Award, the 2009 NSW Premier's Literary Awards, the 2010 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature, the 2008 Age Book of the Year Awards, the 2008 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards, the 2008 Queensland Premier's Literary Awards, the 2008 NSW Premier's History Awards and the 2008 Australian Book Industry Awards