Promised Lands

By Jane Rogers
(Overlook Press, Hardcover, 9780879517533, 376pp.)

Publication Date: April 1997

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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Royal Marine Lieutenant William Dawes, an idealistic young officer and astronomist, set sail toward Australia in 1788 with dreams of establishing a Utopian society, where the convict settlers on his ship and the Aborigines will learn from each other and live in unity. His modern counterpart, Stephen Beech, a history professor with radical ideas for transforming his school, is researching Dawes's life and the early days of the Botany Bay settlement. As Beech learns the harsh truths about the settlement - the failure of colonialist policies, the ravages of small pox and the degradation of the convicts - he struggles to understand his own failed efforts to implement his Utopian educational theories. Beech's wife Olla rejects her husband's views and creates her own Utopian worldview, in which their apparently handicapped son, Daniel, is in possession of extraordinary powers and is destined to become mankind's savior.
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