The Timeless Land

By Eleanor Dark,

Book cover of The Timeless Land

Book description

An outstanding literary achievement, meticulously researched and deeply felt, this portrait of the earliest days of the European settlement of Australia remains unrivalled. the year 1788: the very beginning of European settlement. these were times of hardship, cruelty and danger. Above all, they were times of conflict between the Aborigines…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The Timeless Land as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

A bold and broad-sweeping book, written in the 1940s, described as a novel but featuring a mix of real and fictional characters, The Timeless Land is a beautifully imaginative telling of the arrival of the First Fleet in what became Sydney in 1788, as seen through the eyes of the Aboriginal people, the Governor and his officers, convicts and the odd settler. The depiction of the part-real, part-invented Aboriginal people may cause raised eyebrows nowadays, but the book is based on thorough research and written with great imagination and sensitivity. I love the mix of the real and the imaginary,…

From Patsy's list on the beginnings of colonial Australia.

Eleanor Dark’s 1941 seminal fictionalised account of Sydney’s early development into a convict settlement in the 1790s was the book pressed upon me by my housemate in the first few months after my arrival in Australia. It was an inspired choice. Dark’s depiction of the incomers' initial, frequently disastrous, attempts to set up a colony, their uneasy, often brutal interaction with the indigenous peoples, and their halting and abortive first explorations into the hinterland were pivotal in forming my impressions of the city I had moved to. Three decades later, when I came to set my own novel in historic…

From Maggie's list on to uncover Sydney’s past.

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