Leave the Gallows Hungry - First Fleet to Australia is, as the title indicates, about the first fleet to Australia and as such can be split into three sections. Approximately the first quarter is set in the UK as the characters are introduced, the middle at sea on a convict transport and the final quarter after the arrival.
The principal characters are Apothecary Jonathan Pettifer and his young lady Margaret Dunne, both sentenced to transportation. They interact with a wide range of well rounded disparate characters from among their fellow convicts, the crew, Marine guards etc. As well as giving you a feel for the deprivations of the voyage and hardships after landing, using an apothecary enabled the author to introduce a lot of information about the medical profession of the times not usually appearing in nautical books.
But the real strength of the book is those characters. Once you pick it up it is hard to put down again as you want to know what happens to them next. Recommended
Description of: Leave the Gallows Hungry - First Fleet to Australia
Author: Stanley Wilson