Shortlist year: 2012
Shortlist category: Australian history
Published by: Black Inc
With the founding of Melbourne in 1835, a flood of settlers began spreading out across the Australian continent. In three years more land – and more people – was conquered than in the preceding fifty.
In 1835 James Boyce brings this pivotal moment to life. He traces the power plays in Hobart, Sydney and London, and describes the key personalities of Melbourne’s early days. He conjures up the Australian frontier – its complexity, its rawness and the way its legacy is still with us today. And he asks the poignant question largely ignored for 175 years: could it have been different?
With his first book, Van Diemen’s Land, Boyce introduced an utterly fresh approach to the nation’s history. ‘In re-imagining Australia’s past,’ Richard Flanagan wrote, ‘it invents a new future.’ 1835 continues this untold story.
About the author
James Boyce is the author of Born Bad (2014), 1835 (2011) and Van Diemen's Land (2008). Van Diemen’s Land, won the Tasmania Book Prize and the Colin Roderick Award and was shortlisted for the NSW, Victorian and Queensland premiers’ literary awards, as well as the Prime Minister’s award.
Tim Flannery described it as “a brilliant book and a must-read for anyone interested in how land shapes people.”
1835, won the Age Book of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Award, the Western Australian Premier's Book Award, the Adelaide Festival Award for Literature and the Victorian Premier's Literary Award. The Sunday Age described it as “A first-class piece of historical writing”.
James Boyce wrote the Tasmania chapter for First Australians, the companion book to the acclaimed SBS TV series. He has a PhD from the University of Tasmania, where he is an honorary research associate of the School of Geography and Environmental Studies.