Just over 225 years ago, one of the most incredible odysseys in human history took place. 1,500 men and women were crammed aboard 11 ships and transported to the other side of the planet. They were criminals, outcasts, renegades: the scum of England. Having travelled over 24,000km, across three oceans, they arrived at a country that did not yet exist. For some, it was a one-way trip to hell; for others, it proved an unexpected chance of a new life. BollÃÂ©e and Nicloux's 500-page masterpiece is an accurate, perceptive and sympathetic account of the birth of Australia.