The floating brothel : the extraordinary true story of an eighteenth-century ship and its cargo of female convicts Sian Rees New York, N.Y. : Hyperion, c 2002 Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xvi, 236 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. -223) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG
This 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 told by a historian with roots in the boatbuilding business and a true love of the sea.
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.