The Preface, written by Louis Becke and Walter Jeffery, stresses how little is known of Arthur Phillip's life and personality and states:
'This book, therefore, is rather a narrative of the founding of New South Wales than a biography of the colony's first Governor. It ought not to lack interest on this account; for it tells the beginning of Greater Britain in the South.'
Includes two appendices:
I. Phillip's Collateral Descendants
II. Documents from the Archives at Lisbon Relating to Phillip's Service with the Portuguese Navy (1775-1778)