02 May 2001

Book Review:The Floating Brothel: the Extraordinary True Story of An Eighteenth-Century Ship And Its Cargo of Female Convicts, by Sian Rees, *****

list of names of convicts shipped to Australia

In 1789, 237 women convicts left England for Botany Bay in Australia on board a ship called The Lady Julia, destined to provide sexual services and a breeding bank for the men already there. This is the story of the women aboard that ship.


Love, adventure and seafaring around the world. A little known but very real story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, at the time of the last great world discoveries. That the protagonists were often performing heroic feats against their will, as in the case of the deported prostitutes, makes the tale even more captivating. This was enjoyable reading, instructive history and made you feel like you were one of the crew!

You can read another review in the New York Times here.

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