Love, murder, betrayal, and adventure with transportation of convicts in 1787 and the founding of the penal colony that became Australia.
With the American colonies closed to Britain, the gaols overflowed, the criminal under-class posed a threat to the property classes. A solution was required. The answer lay in the continent on the far side of the world - Terra Australis Incognita.
'Discovered' by James Cook, the government of the day launched an ambitious experiment; to make use of the criminal class to develop a new colony, a source of trade and a base far from home for England's Royal Navy. The First Fleet of 11 ships left Portsmouth in May 1787 tasked with that objective. The First Fleet of convicts. The experiment so nearly failed.
Jack Vizzard, a young marine officer of affluent background, becomes a member of this expedition. Lawyer, newly commissioned officer and murderer, Vizzard finds his acts of betrayal follow him to New South Wales. But what awaits him? Retribution, reconciliation or ignominy and death?
About the Author
M Howard Morgan is a nom de plume of Malcolm Mendey. Born in Carmarthen, the son of a Brylcreem Boy father and a wonderful German au pair - they WERE married- he has travelled extensively throughout Europe, the Far East, Oceania and N. America. Following an initial career in civil law he moved into loss adjusting, acting for underwriters at Lloyd's of London and multi-national insurers. An interest in genealogy resulted in the discovery of an ancestor who was a marine with the First Fleet of Australia in 1788. Always a student of history, that triggered an ever more consuming investigation into the history of the Golden Age of Sail and tangentially, the conflicts with Revolutionary and Napoleonic France. First Fleet is a debut novel with a sequel now in progress set in 1794 and the first major naval engagement between the two, known in Britain as The Glorious First of June. A qualified boatmaster, a failed golfer, enthusiast of aviation, consumer of fine wines, beers and spirits he has no interest in celery. Howard Morgan lives in the beautiful Cotswolds with his beautiful wife, approximately two of four children and two fabulous Border Collies.