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About the Author: Jane Rogers

Jane Rogers is an award winning author of nine novels, including The Testament of Jessie Lamb, Man-Booker longlisted and winner of the Arthur C Clarke Award 2012.

Other works include Mr Wroe's Virgins (which she dramatised for the BAFTA-nominated BBC drama series), Her Living Image (Somerset Maugham Award) and Promised Lands (Writers Guild Best Fiction Award). Her story collection Hitting Trees with Sticks was shortlisted for the 2013 Edgehill Award, and the title story was a BBC National Short story award winner.

Jane is Emerita Professor of Writing and also writes radio dramas and adaptations. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and lives in Banbury, UK.

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Goodreads rating: 3.90

Paperback, Published in Jun 1998 by The Overlook Press

ISBN10: 0879518669 | ISBN13: 9780879518660

Page count: 376

Royal Marine Lieutenant William Dawes, an idealistic young officer and astronomist, set sail toward Australia in 1788 with dreams of establishing a Utopian society, where the convict settlers on his ship and the Aborigines will learn from each other and live in unity. His modern counterpart, Stephen Beech, a history professor with radical ideas for transforming his school, is researching Dawes's life and the early days of the Botany Bay settlement. As Beech learns the harsh truths about the settlement - the failure of colonialist policies, the ravages of small pox and the degradation of the convicts - he struggles to understand his own failed efforts to implement his Utopian educational theories. Beech's wife Olla rejects her husband's views and creates her own Utopian worldview, in which their apparently handicapped son, Daniel, is in possession of extraordinary powers and is destined to become mankind's savior.

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