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book cover of The Commonwealth of Thieves

The Commonwealth of Thieves

(2005)
The Story of the Founding of Australia
A non fiction book by

 
 
With the authority of a brilliant historian and the narrative grace of a great novelist, Thomas Keneally recounts the founding of the first penal colony in Australia in 1788. Drawing on historical documents and journals, he weaves the stories of a diverse, colorful cast of characters into a dramatic saga of the birth of a vibrant society in an unfamiliar land.

At the center of THE COMMONWEALTH OF THIEVES is Arthur Phillips, an ambitious captain in the Royal Navy assigned the formidable task of organizing the expedition to Australia and establishing a colony comprised mainly of unskilled and malcontent criminals and petty thieves. Using Phillips's personal journals, along with other historical documents, Keneally re-creates the grueling overseas voyage, a hellish journey that claimed the lives of many convicts. As governor of the colony, Phillips took on the challenges of dealing with unruly convicts, disgruntled officers, a bewildered, sometimes hostile native population, as well as such serious matters as food shortages and disease. In the end Phillips emerges as a governor driven by a yearning for recognition and advancement, yet possessed of a social conscience rare for his time. Keneally's captivating portraits of Aborigines who both aided and opposed Phillips, and of various settlers—including convicts determined to overcome their pasts and begin anew—add depth and color to his incisive, engaging narrative on a watershed period in history.

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Used availability for Thomas Keneally's The Commonwealth of Thieves

Hardback Editions

October 2006 : USA Hardback
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Title: A Commonwealth of Thieves: The Improbable Birth of Australia
Author(s): Thomas Keneally
ISBN: 0-385-51459-X / 978-0-385-51459-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Talese / Doubleday
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


1751 : UK Hardback
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Title: The Commonwealth of Thieves: The Story of the Founding of Australia
Author(s): Thomas Keneally
ISBN: 0-7011-7883-3 / 978-0-7011-7883-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Chatto & Windus
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


January 2005 : Australia Hardback
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Title: Title: THE COMMONWEALTH OF THIEVES.
Author(s): Tom Keneally
ISBN: 1-74051-337-1 / 978-1-74051-337-1 (Australia edition)
Publisher: Random House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

December 2007 : USA Paperback
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Title: A Commonwealth of Thieves: The Improbable Birth of Australia
Author(s): Thomas Keneally
ISBN: 1-4000-7956-X / 978-1-4000-7956-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Anchor
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 2007 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Commonwealth of Thieves: The Story of the Founding of Australia
Author(s): Thomas Keneally
ISBN: 0-09-948374-2 / 978-0-09-948374-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

2008 : USA Audio CD
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Title: Commonwealth of Thieves, A - on Playaway
Author(s): Thomas Keneally
ISBN: 1-60640-365-6 / 978-1-60640-365-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Playaway
Availability: Amazon   


November 2006 : USA Audio CD
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Title: A Commonwealth of Thieves: The Improbable Birth of Australia
Author(s): Thomas Keneally
ISBN: 1-4001-0291-X / 978-1-4001-0291-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


November 2006 : USA Audio CD
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Title: A Commonwealth of Thieves: The Improbable Birth of Australia
Author(s): Thomas Keneally
ISBN: 1-4001-3291-6 / 978-1-4001-3291-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


November 2006 : USA MP3 CD
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Title: A Commonwealth of Thieves: The Improbable Birth of Australia
Author(s): Thomas Keneally
ISBN: 1-4001-5291-7 / 978-1-4001-5291-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

December 2007 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: A Commonwealth of Thieves
Author(s): Thomas Keneally
Publisher: Anchor
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA