top of page

Acerca de

Union Jack.jpg

Arthur Phillip
Sailor, Mercenary, Governor, Spy

This book uncovers the elusive character of Arthur Phillip, brings to life his career in the Royal Navy and explains the culture, values, fashions and features of the Georgian society in which he lived and died.


‘Arthur Phillip – Sailor, Mercenary, Governor, Spy’ was short-listed for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards 2014


The judges made the following comment about the book:


“Michael Pembroke’s Arthur Phillip: Sailor, Mercenary, Governor, Spy is a rich, freshly edifying and widely informed portrait of this multi-faceted man who, from a highly diversified and unexpected background, became the key figure in Australia’s founding settlement. Impressively written with verve, perception and wide research knowledge, it reveals a complex and versatile figure.”


‘At long last, a finely written biography of the astonishing egalitarian who became Australia’s founding father. There are gripping descriptions of his amazing sea voyages and moving accounts of the humanity he brought to the government of a penal colony that only he thought would ever become a nation. The book shows the moral vision of a man who gave history its best example of the possibility of the Reformation of the human spirit.’

Geoffrey Robertson QC


‘A gripping life of a quite extraordinary man: the most important enlightenment life story that we’ve never had properly told before.’

Andrew Marr, BBC broadcaster 


‘The colour and dash of Arthur Phillip’s extraordinary life, lived in amazing times in every corner of the world, is told just brilliantly in Michael Pembroke’s utterly absorbing book, designed to become a classic of Imperial literature.’

Simon Winchester, bestselling author

bottom of page