Erickson, Carolly The Girl from Botany Bay

ISBN 13: 9780471271406

The Girl from Botany Bay

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9780471271406: The Girl from Botany Bay
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The Girl from Botany Bay The story of Botany Bay prisoner Mary Bryant who in the early 1790s, with her husband William, two small children, and seven other convicts, stole a boat and escaped Sydney by sailing all the way north to Timor, some 3250 treacherous miles in under ten weeks, an incredible nautical achievement.

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Veteran biographer Erickson ( Great Harry , etc.) focuses on Mary Broad, who was arrested for robbery in 1786 and transported in sordid conditions to the new penal colony in Australia. But the book is, more generally, a stark and fascinating account of what prisoners endured: in England, where harsh laws protected property in an era of unsettling social change; on board ship; and in the penal colonies themselves, where the convicts and their guards carved a bleak existence out of the inhospitable environment. Life was particularly harsh for women, who, in addition to the usual deprivations, also endured the threat of rape and the responsibilities and sorrows of raising children in dire conditions. Mary Broad, along with several male convicts and her own young children, made a daring escape in a small, stolen boat. Perhaps fortified by stories of the survivors of the Bounty , they sailed along the Australian coast and across open sea to the Dutch settlement of Kupang in Indonesia, where they enjoyed a few months of ease before their recapture. Despite Erickson’s speculations, little can be known concretely about Mary as an individual. Her story draws in the reader, nonetheless, and Mary’s brief moment of celebrity, when the escape and the well–timed intervention of the writer James Boswell earn her a royal pardon, provides a satisfying end to the unrelenting hardship of her life. Agent, Russell Galen. (Nov.) ( Publishers Weekly , September 27, 2004) Prolific biographer Erickson (Alexandra, 2001, etc.) skillfully renders the extraordinary life of Mary Broad, who survived a voyage to and from a penal colony to become James Boswell’s protégée. Born in 1769 and raised in Cornwall, Mary grew up amid filth, violence, and privation in a period of especially hard times: harvests had failed, the fish were not running, the Cornish were starving. Arrested for robbery and sentenced to be hung, the 20–year–old girl was instead sent to the recently established penal colony of New South Wales in Australia, because the British government needed people, women in particular, to settle there. In the fetid prison hulks that dotted Plymouth harbor, imprisoned with prostitutes and habitual criminals, Mary became pregnant before she finally set sail. The 15,000–mile voyage was grueling: space, food, and water were limited, diseases rampant, and sexual abuse common. But Mary survived, giving birth to a daughter en route. When they reached Australia, she married fellow convict William Bryant in order that they could acquire their own land. But crops f ailed, famine was rife, the natives were hostile, and mortality was high; realizing that their lives were even worse than they’d been in England, the Bryants decided to escape. Bringing along Mary’s daughter and newborn son, they stole a boat and sailed with seven other adults up the east coast to Dutch–ruled Batavia, some 4,000 miles away. It was an epic feat, but Mary wasn’t yet safe.   Discovered and sent back to England, with both her children dead, she was once more imprisoned. Luckily, her amazing story garnered public sympathy and the support of Boswell, who determined to secure her freedom. Compelling tale with a gritty heroine: Broad’s hardscrabble adventures forcefully remind readers that 18 th –century life bore very little resemblance to an episode of Masterpiece Theater. (Russell Galen Literary Agency) ( Kirkus Reviews , September 15, 2004) Praise for Carolly Erickson: "Carolly Erickson is one of the most accomplished and successful historical biographers writing in English." ( London Times Literary Supplement ) "An intimate, richly detailed, and candid portrait...[Erickson′s] scholarly insights combine superbly with a mastery of period manners more often found int he best historical fiction." [Kirkus Reviews on Josephine } "Carolly Erickson is a most admirable biographer, and this book is highly enjoyable as well as being reliable and acute; indeed, it is popular historical biography at its best." [ London Times on Mistress Anne ] "A masterpiece of narrative, a story so absorbing that it is as hard to put down as a fine novel.l" [ LA Times Book Review , on The First Elizabeth ] "Even more readable and absorbing than the justly praised works of Barbara Tuchman and Antonia Fraser...In Erickson′s hands, an entire age comes vividly to life." [ The Philadelphia Inquirer The First Elizabeth] "[With] dazzling gifts for historical color and detail...rarely before have [Henry VIII′s] person and psyche been so brilliantly revealed." [ London Review of Books on GREAT HARRY ] "A distinguished and highly readable book." ( Washington Post Book World , on BLOODY MARY ) "Erickson [is] a gifted writer with a novelistic flair for detail." ( San Francisco Chronicle on MISTRESS ANNE ) "She has written an admirable biography, graphic, judicious, carefully researched, skillfully constructea dn full of those telling details that are an essential ingredient of the narrator′s art." ( The new York Times Book Review on Great HARRY ) "Carolly Erickson′s new book...THE FIRST ELIZABETH is a great triumph of compression, clarity and insight, offering the triple delights of fine popular history, scandal–ridden biography and first–rate narrative." ( Los Angeles Times on THE FIRST ELIZABETH ) "A narrative as accomplished as any Ms. Erickson has written...From her crisply written pages there emerges a convincing picture of Charles Stuart....In her skillful portrait are the recognizable features both of the romantic hero of Scotland and of the bitter, disappointed exile." ( New York Times Book Review on BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE )

"...her story draws in the reader." ( Publishers Weekly , September 27, 2004) Praise for Carolly Erickson: "Carolly Erickson is one of the most accomplished and successful historical biographers writing in English." ( London Times Literary Supplement ) "An intimate, richly detailed, and candid portrait...[Erickson′s] scholarly insights combine superbly with a mastery of period manners more often found int he best historical fiction." [Kirkus Reviews on Josephine } "Carolly Erickson is a most admirable biographer, and this book is highly enjoyable as well as being reliable and acute; indeed, it is popular historical biography at its best." [ London Times on Mistress Anne ] "A masterpiece of narrative, a story so absorbing that it is as hard to put down as a fine novel.l" [ LA Times Book Review , on The First Elizabeth ] "Even more readable and absorbing than the justly praised works of Barbara Tuchman and Antonia Fraser...In Erickson′s hands, an entire age comes vividly to life." [ The Philadelphia Inquirer The First Elizabeth] "[With] dazzling gifts for historical color and detail...rarely before have [Henry VIII′s] person and psyche been so brilliantly revealed." [ London Review of Books on GREAT HARRY ] "A distinguished and highly readable book." ( Washington Post Book World , on BLOODY MARY ) "Erickson [is] a gifted writer with a novelistic flair for detail." ( San Francisco Chronicle on MISTRESS ANNE ) "She has written an admirable biography, graphic, judicious, carefully researched, skillfully constructea dn full of those telling details that are an essential ingredient of the narrator′s art." ( The new York Times Book Review on Great HARRY ) "Carolly Erickson′s new book...THE FIRST ELIZABETH is a great triumph of compression, clarity and insight, offering the triple delights of fine popular history, scandal–ridden biography and first–rate narrative." ( Los Angeles Times on THE FIRST ELIZABETH ) "Prolific biographer Erickson skillfully renders the extraordinary life of Mary [Bryant]. A compelling tale with a gritty heroine."( Kirkus )

Synopsis:

From prizewinning biographer Carolly Erickson, the harrowing story of a celebrated convict's 4,000--mile escape from prison by sea with her two small children In 1788, the British government commuted nineteen--year--old Mary Bryant's death sentence and transported her to Botany Bay, the penal colony in Australia. Her crime: stealing a lady's bonnet. In Australia, Mary married another convict and had two children, but harsh conditions made life increasingly unbearable. In 1791, she, her family, and seven other convicts escaped in a small open boat and sailed an astonishing 4,000 miles to the Dutch colony at Timor. The convicts initially passed as survivors of a shipwreck, but they were soon exposed, rounded up, and put on a ship back to England. Mary's two children died of fever on the voyage, and it seemed likely that she would face transportation back to Australia. But in England, her amazing escape and tragic story quickly became a cause celebre, and Mary was ultimately pardoned. Now, in this gripping narrative history, Carolly Erickson brings this remarkable woman to life, offering an indelible account of crime, punishment, heroism, and redemption. Carolly Erickson (Kailua, HI) is a distinguished historian who has written biographies of Empress Josephine, Tsarina Alexandra, and Queens Elizabeth I, Victoria, and Elizabeth II.

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Book Description Turner Publishing Company, United States, 2004. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. On a moonless night in the early 1790s, prisoner Mary Bryant, her husband William, her two small children, and seven other convicts stole a twenty-foot longboat and slipped noiselessly out of Sydney Cove, Australia, eluding their captors.They sailed north, all the way to Indonesia, traveling some thirty-six hundred treacherous miles in ten weeks--an incredible feat of seamanship. For a time, Mary and her companions were able to convince the local Dutch colonial authorities that they were survivors of a shipwreck, but eventually the truth emerged and they found themselves back in captivity, in irons, on their way to England for execution.In time, Mary's fateful journey would win her tremendous admiration. A woman once reviled as a criminal would become a London celebrity, ultimately finding forgiveness and freedom.In The Girl from Botany Bay, distinguished historian and biographer Carolly Erickson tells Mary Bryant's remarkable story at full length for the first time--the story of a woman whose impoverished Cornwall childhood led to a life of outlaw daring and thievery, then to harsh imprisonment and exile. Erickson recounts Mary's bold ventures from her point of view, beginning with her conviction and death sentence for highway robbery. Reprieved, she was sent to New South Wales to serve out her time, one of dozens of female convicts chosen as sexual companions for the hundreds of male convicts destined for settlement in the remote continent of om Mary's perilous sea journey to Botany Bay and Sydney Cove, to the inhuman conditions at the penal colony, to the risky escape to the Indonesian island of Timor and the horrors of the sail back to England--during which Mary's husband and two children died of disease--the story is harrowing yet heroic. With the dramatic narrative skill for which she is acclaimed, Erickson brings Mary and her companions to life in compelling detail. All the dangers of seafaring adventure are here: violent storms, near drownings, severe hunger and thirst, and the perils of relentless exposure to sun, wind, and salt spray that left the convicts with their skin scraped raw and their strength leached away.When she finally landed in England and testified before the magistrate's court, Mary was magnificent in her own defense. No one had the heart to condemn her; had she not, through her suffering, paid for her crimes? Impressed by Mary's sturdy self-possession and courage, lawyer and author James Boswell came to her rescue, ensuring that "the Girl from Botany Bay," as the newspapers called her, was freed and able to begin a new life.The epic story of Mary Bryant, the brave and resourceful girl from Botany Bay, is compelling narrative nonfiction at its very best. Seller Inventory # LHB9780471271406

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Book Description Turner Publishing Company, United States, 2004. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. On a moonless night in the early 1790s, prisoner Mary Bryant, her husband William, her two small children, and seven other convicts stole a twenty-foot longboat and slipped noiselessly out of Sydney Cove, Australia, eluding their captors.They sailed north, all the way to Indonesia, traveling some thirty-six hundred treacherous miles in ten weeks--an incredible feat of seamanship. For a time, Mary and her companions were able to convince the local Dutch colonial authorities that they were survivors of a shipwreck, but eventually the truth emerged and they found themselves back in captivity, in irons, on their way to England for execution.In time, Mary's fateful journey would win her tremendous admiration. A woman once reviled as a criminal would become a London celebrity, ultimately finding forgiveness and freedom.In The Girl from Botany Bay, distinguished historian and biographer Carolly Erickson tells Mary Bryant's remarkable story at full length for the first time--the story of a woman whose impoverished Cornwall childhood led to a life of outlaw daring and thievery, then to harsh imprisonment and exile. Erickson recounts Mary's bold ventures from her point of view, beginning with her conviction and death sentence for highway robbery. Reprieved, she was sent to New South Wales to serve out her time, one of dozens of female convicts chosen as sexual companions for the hundreds of male convicts destined for settlement in the remote continent of om Mary's perilous sea journey to Botany Bay and Sydney Cove, to the inhuman conditions at the penal colony, to the risky escape to the Indonesian island of Timor and the horrors of the sail back to England--during which Mary's husband and two children died of disease--the story is harrowing yet heroic. With the dramatic narrative skill for which she is acclaimed, Erickson brings Mary and her companions to life in compelling detail. All the dangers of seafaring adventure are here: violent storms, near drownings, severe hunger and thirst, and the perils of relentless exposure to sun, wind, and salt spray that left the convicts with their skin scraped raw and their strength leached away.When she finally landed in England and testified before the magistrate's court, Mary was magnificent in her own defense. No one had the heart to condemn her; had she not, through her suffering, paid for her crimes? Impressed by Mary's sturdy self-possession and courage, lawyer and author James Boswell came to her rescue, ensuring that "the Girl from Botany Bay," as the newspapers called her, was freed and able to begin a new life.The epic story of Mary Bryant, the brave and resourceful girl from Botany Bay, is compelling narrative nonfiction at its very best. Seller Inventory # APC9780471271406

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