'This beautifully written book tells the story of the penal settlement on Cockatoo Island, the struggle to build a dock and an autocratic superintendent who turned the island into a secret gentleman’s fight club with his bare-knuckle prize-fighting convicts. It is a true story of corruption, patronage and intrigue. With a cast of memorable characters, this is narrative history that is as exciting to read as a novel. The island was a microcosm of colonial life, where gentlemen and convicts were involved in drama, death, turmoil, farce and moments of compassion. In the background was the island, a place that confined and surprised them all. Guarded by sea and circling gulls, the island has been a potent element in the lives of all those who lived on it. Under the Colony’s Eye reveals some of its long-held secrets.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.