This captivating work charts the history of Tasmania from the arrival of European maritime expeditions in the late eighteenth century, through to the modern day. By presenting the perspectives of both Indigenous Tasmanians and British settlers, author Henry Reynolds provides an original and engaging exploration of these first fraught encounters. Utilising key themes to bind his narrative, Reynolds explores how geography created a unique economic and migratory history for Tasmania, quite separate from the mainland experience. He offers an astute analysis of the island's economic and demographic reality, by noting that this facilitated the survival of a rich heritage of colonial architecture unique in Australia, and allowed the resident population to foster a powerful web of kinship. Reynolds' remarkable capacity to empathise with the characters of his chronicle makes this a powerful, engaging and moving account of Tasmania's unique position within Australian history.