Product Code: 24
Availability: In Stock
Weight: 685.00g
Dimensions: 160.00mm x 10.60mm x 230.00mm

Price: AUD$20.00

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Format: paperback
Edition: 1st Edition
Published: 2015
ISBN: 978-0-9871443-8-6

Now at the special price of $20.00


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





Book reviews:

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.