A.B.C. Maps

Botany Bay

Maria Nugent (Allen and Unwin) 256p (2005). A rich, compelling and often surprising account of the history of Botany Bay.

$39.95 Inc. GST

Where Histories Meet

Botany Bay is renowned as the site of Captain Cook’s first landing on the east coast of New Holland in 1770, infamous as the place chosen by the British as a dumping ground for convicts, and celebrated as the birthplace of Australia.

In this remarkable history, Maria Nugent takes her readers on a journey to find what lies behind, beneath and beyond these familiar associations. Drawing on stories, objects, images, memories and the landscape itself, she collects the threads of other pasts to weave a rich, compelling and often surprising account. Local meanings jostle with national mythologies, Aboriginal remembrance disturbs white forgetting, the natural environment struggles for survival amid the smokestacks. In the process, Botany Bay becomes a site for meditating on questions of history, myth, memory and politics in Australia.


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