We recently read “Arthur Phillip: Sailor, Mercenary, Governor, Spy” by Michael Pembroke. As you would guess from the book’s title, Pembroke tells much more about Arthur Phillip, the first Governor of New South Wales, than we learnt in history lessons at school. Spy? Mercenary? We had never heard about those parts of Phillip’s life before.
The biography is an engrossing read and helps the reader to better understand Phillip’s varied and interesting life, the more admirable (and sometimes not quite so admirable) aspects of his character, and the magnitude of his achievement in bringing the First Fleet to Australia in 1788 and setting up the first colony.
The statue of Phillip below is in Sydney, on the top of the Arthur Phillip Monument in the Royal Botanic Gardens.