Australia is ""the timeless land"", -- and this is Australia's story, through a period beginning with sighting the first white man's ship, to the successful establishment of a colony, battling against racial troubles, lawlessness on the part of convict colonists, lack of skilled labor, and nature itself. Fiction and interpretation skilfully blended with fact, in a dramatic story of the confusion precipitated by the white invasion among the blacks. A solid thoughtful job, claiming verity in the broad outlines, though not, perhaps, in details of plot, which parallels two families, one convict, one ed, and the paths by which the land might be conquered. The period is 1770-172. Eleanor Dark has a better sense of background perhaps than of plot, but her books are rewarding reading.