Who were the female convicts? What kinds of lives did they lead in a new society half a world away from home?
Convict Women looks beyond the conventional images to draw a new and often surprising picture of convict women's experiences in a strange and harsh country. Beginning with the story of Maria Lord - convict, pioneer family woman, successful entrepreneur and abandoned wife - the book looks at the central themes of convict women's history in Australia, ranging from the female factories and orphan schools to sexuality and freedom.
Neither damned whores nor passive victims, these women and the choices they made shaped the world in which they lived. Convict Women tells us much about the richness and complexity of life in a newly formed community.