Convict Lives at the Launceston Female Factory

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Convict Lives at the Launceston Female Factory is the third book in the Convict Lives series to be published by the Convict Women's Press. It was launched on 23 February 2013 at Cascades Female Factory Historic Site by the Premier of Tasmania, Lara Giddings. 

The Launceston Female Factory opened in 1834 as the first purpose-built institution for convict women in Van Diemen's Land.  By 1842 more than 320 women and children were crammed into the buildings with predictable consequences for order, hygiene and infant mortality.  Riots were not uncommon.  Over a twenty year period, the Launceston Female Factory housed thousands of women and children but despite the appalling conditions resourceful women created social spaces for dancing and singing - and drinking. 

The book contains 33 stories from 34 contributors, all members of the Female Convicts Research Centre, and edited by Lucy Frost and Alice Meredith Hodgson.


  1. An institutional failure: the Launceston Female Factory by James Parker
  2. Obstreperous inmates by Penelope Marshall
  3. A rose by any other name by Jo Brodie
  4. Washed ashore: surviving the shipwreck of the Neva by Victor Malham
  5. A swing rioter: Elizabeth Studham by Keryn Rivett
  6. Mary Salmon, a 'sad spectacle of humanity', and other women of the Tasmania in the Launceston Female Factory by Joan Kavanagh & Dianne Snowden
  7. A long way from Tipperary: Margaret Ryan by Ralph Crane
  8. 'A white rag burning': Jane Allen by Dianne Snowden
  9. 'Moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil': an infant murder in County Roscommon by Elaine Farrell
  10. Mary Hogg: a reluctant grandmother by Colette McAlpine
  11. 'An interesting appearance' and a libellous case by Lyn Horton
  12. A journey to gentility: Hannah Tillotson by Noelene Goodwin
  13. Quite a girl by Bernadette Dewhurst-Phillips
  14. Ann Murray 'mangles' her career as a laundry maid by Jeanette Hyland
  15. The men's quarters—first violation for Ann Cooley by Leonie Mickleborough
  16. Unhappy daughter of a celebrity: Sophia Mendoza by Lucy Frost & Susan Ballyn
  17. An immigrant woman in the convict system: Ann Winfield by LIz Rushen
  18. 'A most respectable matron': Mary Kirk by Trudy Cowley
  19. 'The biggest blackguard in town': Ellen Toolan by Tim Horton
  20. Charity by name perhaps by Alison Alexander
  21. A tough and tragic life by Lynne Gillam
  22. From despair to dynasty: Ellen Heath's story by Lois Newham
  23. Jane Moffat: all for love by Joy Crane
  24. Sly, and a great thief by Kay Buttfield
  25. Mary Latham: a feisty troubled girl from Manchester by June Aleknavicius
  26. A convict traveller ... for the love of family by Deborah Norris
  27. Surviving by a thread by Judith Wood
  28. Judith what's-her-name from County Galway by Fay Grimsey
  29. Feisty tragic or incorrigible old vagrant by Dianne Cassidy
  30. A brutal outrage at Westbury: the lingering death of Anne Callaghan by Cheryl Griffin
  31. Beatrice McBarnet: bold woman, bold son by Colette McAlpine
  32. Mary Heffernan and the big top by Rod Beaver
  33. 'A basket on her arm and a blessing on her lips' by Kim Simpson

 

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