I must confess upfront that this book covered a subject I knew little about. Once I had finished however that was far from true. Emma Christopher has written a book called A Merciless Place, and it deals with the British Empire’s attempt to send convicts to West Africa before Australia was colonised.
After the American Revolution, Britain needed somewhere to send its convicts and it settled on West Africa as the place. But the inhospitable terrain and weather, coupled with awful conditions and soldiers and convicts working in the slave-trade, led to disaster.
This is a story of bad decisions and some truly awful human beings leading to even worse outcomes. A Merciless Place chronicles a dark chapter in the history of colonisation, and also sheds new light onto the eventual colonisation of Australia.
Overall this is a great book that is well worth reading. It will shock in places but it will also make you feel pity for the individuals who had no choice but to be caught up in this experiment.