The first prominent advocate of Australian republicanism, Scottish-born John Dunmore Lang (1799 1878) is an important figure in the history of his adopted country. This two-volume work, originally published in 1834, presents a series of chapters illustrating Australia's past history and condition in his own time. The book strongly promotes what Lang deems to be the best interests of the colony, by encouraging the emigration 'of reputable families and individuals to its territory'. Volume 1 sets out the historical background and discovery of the coasts, leading to the establishment of the New South Wales British colony, and presents accounts of the condition and progress of the colony under various governments. Volume 2 investigates the distribution and character of the convict population and stresses the advantages of New South Wales to emigrants, finishing with an analysis of the practicalities of emigration and settling in Australia."