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Last Updated: Feb 13, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

The Lieutenant - Kate Grenville Print Page

The Lieutenant

The novel 'The Lieutenant' is written by Australian author Kate Grenvile and is the second book in a series of novels about colonial Australia. 

To find out more about Kate Grenville, visit her website for a short biography and background information on The Lieutenant.

Readers Notes for the novel are available on Kate Grenville's website. These notes provide an insight into the inspiration behind the writing of The Lieutenant.


Historical Context

Below you will find links to information about William Dawes (British Marine Officer) and the First Fleet:

  • Wikipedia - William Dawes: provides a brief overview of the life of William Dawes.
  • My Place - William Dawes & Patyegarang. This website has a biography of William Dawes, informaiton about Patyegarang (young indigenous woman that befriended William Dawes, the kanguage of Sydney and primary source documents, namely the notebooks of William Dawes. 
  • The First Fleet - New South Wales State Library. On this site you will find informaiton about the journey of the First Fleet and also Tales from the First Fleet in the form of journals. 
  • Links and References: here you will find access to other informaitn sources that discuss William Dawes and the context of the novel. There are a selection of primary and secondary sources.


Fact or Fiction

The Lieutenant is the second novel in a series of books that explores Australia's colonial history.

Controversy surronded the release of the first novel in the series when claims were made that Kate Grenville was implying that she wrote history.

The links below will give you an insight into the controversyn and the historical context in which it is set. 

Analysis and Discussion Questions

Below are links to two websites that provide and analysis and discussion questions for 'The Lieutenant'

  • Book Browse has discussion questions along with a summary of the novel.
  • English Works: Choices, views and values is a webpage that looks at the main themes and literary techniques in the novel.


Below are links to two interviews in which Kate Grenville talked about her novel 'The Lieutenant'.

  • The first interview is with Ramona Koval on 'The Book Show' (ABC). You can read a transcript of the interview or listen to a podcast
  • The second interview is with Lauren Buffered of the BookPage. A transcript of this interview can be found here.

Reviews of the Lieutenant

Kate Grenville's novel 'The Lieutenant' has been reviewed by a number of Australian and international publications. Below you will find links to these various reviews: 

On the LitLovers website you will find a summary, author bio, book reviews and discussion questions for the novel 'The Lieutenant'.

Another review of the 'The Lieutenant' can be found on the 'Whispering Gums' website, which focuses on books written by Australians. The link to review is here.


The Landscape

The Natural History Museum in the United Kingdom has number of images and written documents that look at the flora, fauna and landscape that greeted The First Fleet. 

On the MyPlace website has information about the naturalists of the First Fleet.

Information about the 'Artists of the First Fleet' can be found on the State Library of New South Wales website. Artwork from the following artists can be accessed: William Bradley, George Raper, Richard Pulteney, Robert Anderson Seton, Arthur Bowes Smyth and Philip Gridley King.


The Observatory

William Dawes established the first observatory at the southern end of the present Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1788.

The area was originally known by its Aboriginal names of Tar-ra and Tullagalla. It was later renamed in honour of Dawes and is now known as 'Dawes Point'. 

It was also at this site that Dawes mounted the first guns in Sydney in 1788, and contained Sydney's first cemetery. 

Below are two links that will provide you with more information on Dawes and the observatory:


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