Into the Woods: The Battle for Tasmania's Forests

In 1787 a convoy of eleven ships, carrying about 1500 people, set out from England for Botany Bay. According to the conventional account, it was a shambolic affair: under - prepared, poorly equipped and ill - disciplined. Robert Hughes condemned the organisers' ''muddle and lack of foresight'', while Manning Clark described scenes of ''indescribable misery and confusion''. In The First Fleet: The Real Story, Alan Frost draws on previously forgotten records to debunk these persistent myths. He shows that the voyage was in fact meticulously planned - reflecting its importance to the British government's secret ambitions for imperial expansion. He examines the ships and supplies, passengers and behind - the - scenes discussions. In the process, he reveals the hopes and schemes of those who planned the voyage, and the experiences of those who made it.