19th-Century Australian Travel Writing
Captain Watkin Tench (1758-1833) of the Marines was a writer and member of the first fleet of convict ships that travelled to Australia. His A Narrative of the Expedition to Botany Bay chronicled the journey from England via Rio de Janeiro and the Cape of Good Hope before their arrival in Botany Bay. In Australia, Tench described the country around Sydney, their interactions with Aboriginal peoples, and the climate, industry, and society of New South Wales. Tench writes in an engaging first-person style. The entry on Tench in the Australian Dictionary of Biography notes the influence of Gibbon and Voltaire on his work, and highlights his "interest in the novel, the picturesque and the primitive which foreshadows romanticism". Tench also wrote A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson (1793).