The first new biography of Lachlan Macquarie in decades, this book draws on a wealth of sources, both in Australia and overseas, to paint a picture of the man and his times. It must be seen as one of the great ironies of Australian history that as far as the British Government was concerned he failed in his duty as Governor of New South Wales - as was clearly documented to official minds in the official report compiled by Commissioner John Bigge. This report concluded that while Governor Macquarie had certainly supervised the building in New South Wales of some good roads and some handsome buildings (if at far too high a cost to the British taxpayers), under his government the colony had ceased to be what it was required to be: a place with a reputation for cruelty and hopelessness so terrifying that the very threat of being banished there would strike terror into the heart of any prospective malefactor. Macquarie had in fact had a vision shared by few others that New Holland had the potential to become `one of the greatest and most flourishing colonies belonging to the British Empire' - and became determined to do his part in steering the fledgling community in that direction.
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