The online sale Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of new arrival an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts outlet sale

The online sale Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of new arrival an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts outlet sale

The online sale Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of new arrival an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts outlet sale
The online sale Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of new arrival an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts outlet sale__front

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A seafaring story with a twist -- the incredible voyage of a shipload of "disorderly girls" and the men who transported them, fell for them, and sold them.

This riveting work of rediscovered history tells for the first time the plight of the female convicts aboard the Lady Julian, which set sail from England in 1789 and arrived in Australia''s Botany Bay a year later. The women, most of them petty criminals, were destined for New South Wales to provide its hordes of lonely men with sexual favors as well as progeny. But the story of their voyage is even more incredible, and here it is expertly told by a historian with roots in the boat-building business and a true love of the sea.

Siv¢n Rees delved into court documents and firsthand accounts to extract the stories of these women''s experiences on board a ship that both held them prisoner and offered them refuge from their oppressive existence in London. At the heart of the story is the passionate relationship between Sarah Whitelam, a convict, and the ship''s steward, John Nicol, whose personal journals provided much of the material for this book. Along the way, Rees brings the vibrant, bawdy world of London -- and the sights, smells, and sounds of an eighteenth-century ship -- vividly to life. In the tradition of Nathaniel Philbrick''s In the Heart of the Sea, this is a winning combination of dramatic high seas adventure and untold history.

From Publishers Weekly

In July 1789, the Lady Julian set sail from England, bound for the penal colony at Sydney Bay, New South Wales, and bearing some 240 women sentenced, mostly for petty crimes, to "transportation to parts beyond the seas." The intention of this voyage was twofold: to relieve overcrowding in British jails and t0 provide sexual comfort and eventually children to the male prisoners, from whom nothing had been heard in more than a year. One year later, the ship arrived, its cargo augmented by a number of infants born along the route to the "wives" of her officers and crew. But when it finally dropped anchor, the Lady Julian proved something of a disappointment to the half-starved colonists, who had been hoping more for food than for recreation. The colony was eventually resupplied with food, and these women, salvaged from jails and saved from the gallows, survived and occasionally prospered. Rees descends from a Cornish shipbuilding family and, in her first book, marvelously evokes the sounds and sights of a ship under sail. She is just as good ashore, where her meticulous scholarship vividly re-creates the social conditions of late-18th-century England that produced both the criminal activities of her subjects and the terms of their punishment. Despite the title, relatively little space is given to sexual hi-jinks on the high seas. Instead, Rees uses every scrap of information she can muster to produce a lively, vibrant sense of these women as they must have lived their lives. 17 illus. (Mar.)Forecast: This outstanding debut sheds light on a fascinating, dark corner of history and will appeal to readers of women''s studies; good reviews should also help it reach a wider audience.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

A Cornish Oxford graduate from a boat designer/builder family, Rees grants us a witty, learned, fun read. This work of nautical history recounts the 1789-90 voyage from England to Australia of a ship full of female convicts. The book covers the women''s crimes, trials, and appalling jails back home, which for many put a more favorable cast on the prison ship and the near-starving colony receiving them in Sydney Cove. Using primary sources (including court, colonial, and ships records; the ship''s cooper''s memoirs; and other convict transport accounts), Rees weaves her spell. Following custom, officers and sailors took shipboard "wives," leading to enforced separations of lovers and of parents and infants. Given the alternatives, these unions were apparently not coerced. In exchange, the select gained comforts, privileges, and protection from convict gangs. The Lady Julian was the first Second Fleet vessel to reach the despairing, fledgling colony. Rees fills gaps with judicious speculation and corrects modern assumptions by providing historical context. Aimed at a wide audience, this history is highly recommended for public and academic libraries. Nigel Tappin, Huntsville, Ont.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Review

"A story of generalities with a living, breathing humanity that is not easily forgotten" -- Bookpage

"Brought back to life a vibrant, bawdy high seas adventure." -- Contents

"Historical writing of the first rank, graphic and of real presence." -- Kirkus Reviews

"SiGn Rees wears her considerable learning lightly, and there is not a dull moment in what is . . . wonderfully earthy read." -- The Guardian

"The great strength of the book is its sure grasp of English jails and English ships." -- The Philadelphia Inquirer

"This wonderfully vivid book, beautifully written . . . will stay in my mind for many months." -- Daily Mail

"[Rees''] robust, clear prose carries the story." -- New York Times Book Review

About the Author

Si ân Rees was born and brought up in Cornwall, England, in a family of boatbuilders and designers. After receiving her degree in history, she spent several years abroad, and it was while living in Melbourne, Australia, that she first became interested in the Lady Julian. This is her first book.

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4.1 out of 54.1 out of 5
186 global ratings

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Top reviews from the United States

NHBunion
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An Eye Opener
Reviewed in the United States on February 21, 2015
This book grabbed me from page one, & I had difficulty setting it down. History buffs will enjoy reading about the harsh realities of life & crime in Britain in the 1700s, but I was truly shocked discovering that England shipped many criminals to America in colonial times.... See more
This book grabbed me from page one, & I had difficulty setting it down. History buffs will enjoy reading about the harsh realities of life & crime in Britain in the 1700s, but I was truly shocked discovering that England shipped many criminals to America in colonial times. Author Sian Rees has written an excellent book, never dull or boring, but carefully follows the fate of several female characters from pre-criminal life thru their ocean voyage to a struggling penal colony in Australia aboard the Lady Julian. The description of shipboard life alone is worth reading, along with eye-opening facts about England''s system of justice in those times.
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Kara mia
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I almost felt like I was on the ship with them for a ...
Reviewed in the United States on October 18, 2015
This book was a little hard to get through. Very informative, told me more about how Australia was actually populated and settled than I had ever known but, the writing left something to be desired in the way of pulling the voyage and the people and the details together.... See more
This book was a little hard to get through. Very informative, told me more about how Australia was actually populated and settled than I had ever known but, the writing left something to be desired in the way of pulling the voyage and the people and the details together. Occasionally, during the course of reading this book, I almost felt like I was on the ship with them for a very long time, it felt tedious trying to get to the next interesting point or the next chapter. It is informative and eye-opening if you can weather a little monotonous reading along the way.
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Thomas Grover
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Marvelous Adventure
Reviewed in the United States on October 14, 2011
This book is a highly entertaining account of not only populating Sydney Cove in Australia, but of an 18th century awe inspiring sea adventure. In addition, the reader learns a great deal about the horribly flawed and unjust 19th century English justice system which was so... See more
This book is a highly entertaining account of not only populating Sydney Cove in Australia, but of an 18th century awe inspiring sea adventure. In addition, the reader learns a great deal about the horribly flawed and unjust 19th century English justice system which was so cruelly quick to sentence people by "Transfer to parts beyond the sea", in this case Australia. No less interesting is the candid description of the role of women during this time period.

If you enjoy fascinating history and true adventures you will enjoy this book.
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raychll
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Poorly executed
Reviewed in the United States on March 25, 2013
The first few chapters are so terribly boring I didn''t think I would be able to persevere through them; anecdotal listing of people, where they were from, their crimes, and their punishment-boring. I can read through government logs myself if that''s what interests me.... See more
The first few chapters are so terribly boring I didn''t think I would be able to persevere through them; anecdotal listing of people, where they were from, their crimes, and their punishment-boring. I can read through government logs myself if that''s what interests me. Finally, got a little interesting in chapter 8 where it seems the "story" actually begins, and by interesting I''m mostly referring to one line tidbits of info. The title is so misleading, I thought this would be a tale that''d be slightly risque, controversial, or at least have more than a passing reference to a "floating brothel." Considering the amount of crazy sh!t that history holds, I found this really tame. I feel like I was suckered by the title. Upon finishing it, I felt like i didn''t read a book, but rather a pile of notes that still needed to be organized/edited. I understand it was the author''s first book, but there really needed to be more information and storyline. Either full on make up a story and call it "based on history of..." or stick solely to facts and not make specuations of what may or may not have happened. These are just some of my complaints.... I''m sorry, this is just a badly written book & a waste of my money & shelf space. It will be sold at the next flea market.
3 people found this helpful
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Geoff Le Cren
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A chilling reminder of what life was like not so long ago for the "have-nots"
Reviewed in the United States on June 12, 2016
A fascinating story made all the more real because it is. A chilling reminder of what life was like not so long ago for the "have-nots".
2 people found this helpful
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Vermont Reader
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Wonderfully researched and beautifully written
Reviewed in the United States on October 10, 2017
I had a really hard time putting this book down. What a terrifying look at the lives of destitute young women in London in the 1790s—arrest for petty theft, time in an awful jail and then shipment overseas on a convict boat to parts unknown.
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Anne E. Scheibal
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Reviewed in the United States on July 5, 2021
Product was received exactly as described. Arrived early. Excellent seller.
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Santa Ynez
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Women and young girls punished because they were poor. Deliberately transporting them to Australia for the purpose ...
Reviewed in the United States on August 24, 2016
Incredible! Women and young girls punished because they were poor. Deliberately transporting them to Australia for the purpose of "servicing" men. Well-researched and well-written.
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Top reviews from other countries

Anne
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent social history - very readable
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 18, 2015
The title makes this book seem rather more racy than it actually is. This is a book about the prison system of the late eighteenth century and the transportation of women prisoners to Australia - it concentrates on one particular ship and has some good information from...See more
The title makes this book seem rather more racy than it actually is. This is a book about the prison system of the late eighteenth century and the transportation of women prisoners to Australia - it concentrates on one particular ship and has some good information from records of the time which helps us to personalise the women and understand a bit more of their lives. This is a fascinating account of social history and I found it all interesting as well as touching in places. The author starts by giving us an impression of the treatment of women prisoners at the time as well as of the crimes for which they were committed. Because records are available she can give us actual accounts of individuals and what they did. She helpfully fills in context so that we can see why many women turned to crime and how their offences were viewed at the time. With so many women convicts filling the prisons in England there was seen to be a need to transport them as their punishment to the new colonies, especially as so many of those already there were men and they needed to have children to prosper. The book tells the story of the voyage touching on the lives of the sailors, life on board, and what happened when they came into various ports. The title refers not only to how some women made temporary attachments to the sailors for protection on the trip but also to the fact that they sold themselves for luxuries when they touched land - almost certainly having been pimped out by the crew who took a cut. The author is clear about the realities of the situation and makes no moral judgement about the decisions made by anyone in these transactions. The story finishes with the arrival in Australia and the circumstances which faced the women, most of whom never saw their homeland again. The story is told in an easy to read fashion with lots of social history context and reference to primary source documents. Where the author makes assumptions she is clear about this and they all seemed to make sense to me. I didn''t know much about this appalling event in history and found this book fascinating.
3 people found this helpful
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CMC
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A tale based on facts around the deportation of women ''convicts'' around the globe - an interesting read for history lovers!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 12, 2016
I love books that are based on ''Faction'' (Facts presented in a fictional way) and this one was no exception. The story was well researched and engaging and gave a real insight into what was a brutal and frankly uncaring period of British history, and how many of the...See more
I love books that are based on ''Faction'' (Facts presented in a fictional way) and this one was no exception. The story was well researched and engaging and gave a real insight into what was a brutal and frankly uncaring period of British history, and how many of the characters portrayed managed to survive against adversity despite the harsh conditions and the way they were treated. My only criticism would be that there were - if anything - too many characters mentioned in the narrative. Some of which, I felt, added nothing whatsoever to the story and appeared to be included simply because the author had noted them down in her research, so felt the need to list them in her recounting of individual''s experiences. This detracted from the main characters and broke the narrative up somewhat, but overall I still enjoyed the book and would recommend it.
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Chloe
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
High Costs of the Oldest Profession
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 12, 2016
The oldest profession has never been well-paid and in Siân Rees’s ‘The Floating Brothel,’ for those women caught plying their trade - along with pickpockets, muggers and petty thieves - their payment after appearing at the Old Bailey in 1778 was an eleven months cruise on a...See more
The oldest profession has never been well-paid and in Siân Rees’s ‘The Floating Brothel,’ for those women caught plying their trade - along with pickpockets, muggers and petty thieves - their payment after appearing at the Old Bailey in 1778 was an eleven months cruise on a prison ship to New South Wales to become wives or, to be more accurate, breeding stock for the far flung colony. ‘The Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of an Eighteenth Century Ship and its Cargo of Female Convicts’ is a well-researched account of the lives of the poor in 18th century England and how girls as young as eleven could end up in Newgate Prison for the most minor of crimes – like stealing bread to prevent starvation. The prison ship was the only alternative to hanging and the 240 women who set out on the ‘Lady Julian’ appeared largely to have accepted their lot and made the most of it. This is a masterful, ambitious, extremely well-written story that reads like a novel and is all the more astonishing that it’s true.
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patricia oliver
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Highly Recommend
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 4, 2015
This is an extremely interesting history of what life was like for the early female settlers (convicts) going to Australia. What is fascinating are the details of the lives of these convicts before sentencing, the convictions - death if thievery over certain amount - women...See more
This is an extremely interesting history of what life was like for the early female settlers (convicts) going to Australia. What is fascinating are the details of the lives of these convicts before sentencing, the convictions - death if thievery over certain amount - women were burnt at the stake. The alternative of deportation must have seemed humane. The wonderful description of life afloat a sail ship for both convicts and sailors at the mercy of the weather and currents. The author follows the course of one particular ship whose journey had been written about at the time. This ship took about a year to reach Australia with interesting stops to obtain provisions and in South America to allow a few women to give birth! Sailors and convicts were allowed to partner up - hence the title - as attempts to keep separated on other voyages had proven disruptive. The author rightly points out that the moral code then was practical for the times. I really enjoyed this book, learnt so much and highly recommend.
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Paul
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Informative and pleasantly written for the general reader
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 6, 2015
An interesting look at one of the lesser-known aspects of early Australian development. One gets a picture of near-chaos in the English courts system, and of one of the methods by which an attempt was made to alleviate the situation. It was curious to realise how personal...See more
An interesting look at one of the lesser-known aspects of early Australian development. One gets a picture of near-chaos in the English courts system, and of one of the methods by which an attempt was made to alleviate the situation. It was curious to realise how personal justice can be, and how reliant upon individuals'' performance of their tasks. Also revealing of 18th century thinking in what details were or were not recorded. Despite the choice of title and of cover illustration this is not a particularly salacious work, and treats both the commercial aspects of the voyage and the sex-trade of which it was a part in a fairly neutral manner. Facts are given where available, or their unavailability noted, but without excessive hand-wringing or attempts to impose a 21st century morality. Not a work for the in-depth researcher, but informative and pleasantly written for the general reader.
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The online sale Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of new arrival an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts outlet sale

The online sale Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of new arrival an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts outlet sale

The online sale Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of new arrival an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts outlet sale

The online sale Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of new arrival an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts outlet sale

The online sale Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of new arrival an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts outlet sale

The online sale Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of new arrival an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts outlet sale

The online sale Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of new arrival an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts outlet sale

The online sale Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of new arrival an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts outlet sale

The online sale Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of new arrival an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts outlet sale

The online sale Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of new arrival an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts outlet sale

The online sale Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of new arrival an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts outlet sale

The online sale Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of new arrival an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts outlet sale

The online sale Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of new arrival an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts outlet sale

The online sale Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of new arrival an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts outlet sale

The online sale Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of new arrival an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts outlet sale

The online sale Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of new arrival an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts outlet sale