It was an incredible idea-to found a colony of convicts eight months' sail away from Great Britain. In a land with no cities, no farms, no rich spices. Just savages in huts. The Dutch, the French and the Portuguese had known about this place for two hundred years-and had turned their noses up at it. The Chinese had known about it for even longer and they weren't interested either. No country had ever thought to send a colony so far away. Why on earth would you bother?