In 1835 an illegal squatter camp was established on the banks of the Yarra River. In defiance of authorities in London and Sydney, Tasmanian speculators began sending men and sheep across Bass Strait - and so changed the shape of Australian history. Before the founding of Melbourne, British settlement on the mainland amounted to a few pinpoints on a map. Ten years later, it had become a sea of red. In 1835 James Boyce brings this pivotal moment to life. He traces the power plays in Hobart, Sydney and London, the key personalities of Melbourne's early days, and the haunting questions raised by what happened when the land was opened up. He conjures up the Australian frontier - its complexity, its rawness and the way its legacy is still with us today.