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In George Raper, midshipman on the Sirius of the First Fleet, talent and opportunity magnificently coalesced to produce what is now one of the National Library of Australia's most treasured collections, the Ducie Collection of First Fleet Art. Raper's enviable ability to observe and depict the captivating beauty of Australian birds and plants was heightened by his youthful enthusiasm for the novelty of what he witnessed. In telling Raper's story, Groom adds an entirely new dimension to our understanding of the First Fleet experience and the life of a junior officer in the British Navy.