Thomas Keneally examines the transformation of Australia from a penal settlement to a modern society.
Epigraph: Eora people asked the question, Waube-rong orab, Where is a better country? This thief colony might hereafter become a great empire, whose nobles will probably, like the nobles of Rome, boast of their blood. The Morning Post, London. 1 November 1786.
Author's note: I have taken the liberty in quotations from historic sources to standardise spelling, and in the cases of misspellings left intact, to avoid the use of mannerism (sic). Any insertions I have made for the sake of clarifying the intentions of the original writers are signalled by square brackets. All Aboriginal personal and place names have variations with which generally I have avoided burdening the text, though some of the variant spellings can be found in the notes. As the text makes frequent use of imperial measurement, a conversion table to metric has been provided at the end of the book. T. K.
Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of
A National (Diasporic?) Living Treasure : Thomas KeneallyPaul Sharrad,
2015single work criticism — Appears in:
142015;(p. 20-27)Although Thomas Keneally is firmly located as a national figure, his international literary career and his novels’ inspection of colonial exile, Aboriginal alienation, and movements of people throughout history reflect aspects of diasporic experience, while pushing the term itself into wider meaning of the transnational.
Timely Look at Our PastStephen Matchett,
2006single work column — Appears in:
The Weekend Australian,21-22 January2006;(p. 44)Stephen Matchett compares the literary approach of Thomas Keneally in The Commonwealth of Thieves to that of Inga Cleninnen in Dancing with Strangers in a discussion on the causes and consequences of the arrival of the First Fleet.