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This ambitious biography, seven years in the making, breaks new ground in documenting James Stirling’s path from birth into one of Scotland’s oldest families, through to founder and Governor of the Swan River Colony and, ultimately, to Admiral and British naval chief in East Asia.
During his naval career Stirling commanded five different vessels, taking him to the Americas, on voyages of exploration and settlement in Australia’s west and north, to diplomatic intrigue in the Mediterranean, and finally to Hong Kong and Japan where he engineered a significant new treaty.
Stirling’s place in history has hitherto been questioned and over-simplified—particularly regarding his contentious West Australian land grants. This absorbing biography seeks to redress this bias while, at the same time, revealing much about the human face and foibles of the man remembered today as the founder of the State of Western Australia.
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