Rob Mundle releases new book – The First Fleet

No nation had ever been established in such a manner: seafarers, convicts, military men, and a few good citizens – some 1300 in all – consigned to a virtually unknown land on the opposite side of the world to establish a penal colony.

Just how the officers and crew took 11 ships, crew and passengers (willing and not willing) 17,000 nautical miles – half way around the world – to Australia in 252 days at sea is the subject of Rob Mundle’s latest rollicking, maritime opus, the bestselling author’s 14th book.

It’s the story of great leadership, remarkable seamanship, bravery and one of the greatest maritime voyages of all time. Despite beliefs to the contrary, all 11 ships completed the passage across some of the world’s most inhospitable oceans, and reached their goal. The loss of life during the near nine months at sea also defied the critics’ dire predictions – fewer than 70 died.

Rob’s enthralling narrative then follows the first tentative steps towards the creation of the great nation we have today – Australia. This book is laden to the gunwales with excitement and drama on land, death defying escape attempts by land and sea, and the fight against the famine that crippled the colony. Rob challenges us to reassess our nation’s founders as, first and foremost, darn good sailors, who were determined to see the colony succeed. 

Best known for his international bestseller, Fatal Storm – the story of the tragic 1998 Sydney to Hobart yacht race – Rob’s most recent maritime history books – Bligh, Flinders and Cook – have all gone ‘bestseller’.

– ABC Books

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