The book I am reading for Mondays paper The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes fits in well with the readings we have been doing for the class, because it goes along with Levine’s idea that Australia was set up as a convict colony to begin with. The book also shows that at the beginning there was no real intent of British people to settle in Australia, because its intention was to be a convict colony. It covers what we have talked about in class about Australia being a convict colony although it goes into much more depth than the basic description Levine has given us so far. The book covers the originally settlement and the movement of Aborigines inland due to this colonization.
The book, however, goes into a much deeper concept with the different native aborigine groups. For example it describes each one separately and covers their way of life, and customs. The book also gives a good chronological account of when the continent of Australia was actually formed and allows the reader to understand that it used to be much bigger, but rising sea levels in BC times pushed it back. The original settlers were Asian, and Aborigine people although by the team the British arrived, each of those populations had gone down significantly. For example the Aborigine people only had about 30,000 people living throughout the continent when the British arrived. The book also brings up the idea that the Australian colony was a quite brutal place at the time of settlement, hence the name Fatal Shore. The convicts were treated extremely harshly, and the Aborigine customs were extremely harsh as well. This book so far has done a very good job linking up with the class, as well as bringing about new ideas to the table.