Convict Lives: Female Convicts at the New Norfolk Asylum


CONVICT WOMEN’S PRESS Inc. is proud to announce the launch of its sixth publication in the series of Convict Lives in Van Diemen’s Land Convict Lives: Female Convicts at the New Norfolk Asylum, edited by Dianne Snowden and Jane Harrington.
The book was launched by Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner, AC, Governor of Tasmania at New Norfolk on 1st May. 

Initially opening as an invalid hospital in 1829, the hospital was shortly renamed the New Norfolk Asylum for the Insane. It housed both convict and free men and women, and its inmates included hundreds of convict women.


Recounting the lives of 15 women using archival material and family records, the book’s 22 authors reconstruct the lives of individual convict women, the reasons for their admission and their treatment in the Asylum.  The stories highlight there is much more to the life of a convict than a crime, trial and sentence. Seven of the authors are descendants of these women and share family stories of fractured and fragmented lives.


“This book sensitively examines a neglected topic of female convict history. It advances an understanding of the complexities of mental illness in the nineteenth century”.

Dr Alison Alexander, President, Convict Women’s Press.


Orders are now available.


CL NN web




A New Publication


Convict Women's Press

 CL NN web

Now Available

Convict Lives:

Female Convicts

at the New Norfolk Asylum