From the Edges of Empire
Edition: 1st Edition
From the Edges of Empire: Convict Women from Beyond the British Isles.
This book tells the remarkable stories of women transported to Australia from the British Isles.
These stirring accounts remind us that the colonies were, from their beginning, populated by people from many cultures, and encourage us to envision the long reach of the British justice system during the heyday of Empire.
From the Edges of Empire includes 15 stories from 14 authors, from family historians to award-winning historians. Some of these include Alison Alexander, winner of the National Biography Award for her book on Jane Franklin; Cassandra Pybus, author of 11 books; and Ralph Crane who has written or edited 21 books.
Part 1: The Indian Ocean
1. Out of India: Convict women in the web of Empire
by Ralph Crane
2. Exotic Cargo: Convict women shipped from Mauritius
by Eilin Hordvik
3. Children in Bondage: Elizabeth Verloppe and Constance Couronne
by Cassandra Pybus
4. 'A Crime of Passion' ... Murder in the Seychelles
by Eilin Hordvik
5. Convicts from the Cape Colony
by Kaye Buttfield
Part 2: The Caribbean World
6. Caribbean stories: born in the West Indies, tried in the British Isles, transported to New South Wales
by Jan Richardson
7. Whitewashing Australia's convict experience: from the British Caribbean to New South Wales
by Cheryl Griffin
8. A homicide in the Honduras; The Grace of a Mistress; A Slave's Reprieve-how a teenage slave avoided the gallows in Belize
by Darryl Massie
Part 3: Europeans and the High Seas
9. French Female Convicts in Van Diemen's Land
by Alison Alexander
10. Where, Oh Where, is Eugenie Lemaire
by Douglas Wilkie
11. Unruly women: Julie St Clair Newman and Annette Meyers
by Colette McAlpine and Margaret Lindley
12. How Louisa La Grange became the narrator in Alexandre Dumas's Impressions de Voyage: journal de madame Giovanni
by Douglas Wilkie
13. Una Convicta Espanola: Adelaide de Thoreza in Botany Bay
by Lucy Frost
14. The Elusive Iberian Connection: Catherine Ross and Helen McGee
by Susan Ballyn and Lucy Frost
15. Born at Sea
by Chris Leppard-Quinn
From the Edges of Empire: Convict Women from Beyond the British Isles
edited by Lucy Frost and Colette McAlpine.
Robyn Greaves. Transnational Literature Vol. 10 no. 2, May 2018.
From the Edges of Empire: Convict Women from Beyond the British Isles edited by Lucy Frost and Colette McAlpine (Convict Women’s Press, Hobart, 2015).
Reading the stories in From the Edges of Empire as a whole gives a disquieting sense of how the British Empire, with its extensive colonies, affected the lives of people across the world with far-reaching consequences, helping shape the Australia we know today. Jan Richardson sums up the lives of these women: ‘from the small fragments that have been gathered piece-by-piece from around the world ... fascinating and heart-breaking stories are now revealed, encapsulating themes of poverty, crime, prostitution, bigamy, illegitimacy, insanity, slavery and emancipation’ (128). While the internet and digitisation of material have made information more accessible, tracing stories such as these is still a painstaking and time-consuming task, so we can be grateful to the contributors of this book, its editors and publisher, for making this research available to the public. I hope From the Edges of Empire is widely read and serves as a catalyst for the revelation of more forgotten stories such as those contained here.
Dr Robyn Greaves
Read the full review here.