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Why is it that Australians are still misled by myths about their convict heritage? Why are so many family historians surprised to find a convict ancestor in their family trees? Why did an entire society collude to cover up its past? Babette Smith traces the stories of hundreds of convicts over the 80 years of convict transportation to Australia. Putting a human face on the convicts' experience, she paints a rich picture of their crimes in Britain and their lives in the colonies. Australia's Birthstain rewrites the story of Australia's convict foundations, revealing the involvement of British politicians and clergy in creating a birthstain that reached far beyond convict crimes. Its startling conclusion offers fresh perspective on our past.
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"Babette Smith's arguments will be hotly debated, but there is no doubting the fascination or drama of this study of the stain we pretend is not there." --Thomas Keneally, author, "The Commonwealth of Thieves"About the Author:
Babette Smith is an independent historian and author of the bestselling account of the lives of a shipload of female convicts, Cargo of Women. www.babettesmith.com
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