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On 8th April 1811, the ship Friends sailed from England carrying 101 female convicts bound for the penal colony that was New South Wales. The crimes of the women and girls on board ranged from pickpocketing to murder, but most were convicted of theft. Susannah Noon, not yet in her teens, tried to steal four pairs of cotton stockings from a shop in Colchester. It earned her a sentence of transportation for seven years' 'beyond the seas'. It was a sentence that reverberated throughout her lifetime; she never returned to England. What drove most of these women, young and old, to crime was what helped them to shape new lives in New South Wales - the will to survive.The newly invented society they found themselves in was, in effect, that of an 'open prison'. In 1811, there were only one hundred women in New South Wales who had not arrived as convicted felons. Susannah and her Friends shipmates were free to work and marry. Most of them grabbed the chance for respectability and, in doing so, they became part of the unexpected phenomenon that was transforming a penal outpost to thriving colony. Author Elsbeth Hardie knew nothing of these women when she went in search of them. Susannah and the others remained largely silent and invisible to history. In uncovering their stories, she provides a little-known account of the convict system that prevailed in the early years of transportation to New South Wales and how these women fared.Susannah's journey would take her on to yet another new life in a whaling station in New Zealand, some years before the arrival of that country's first organised colonists. Her story becomes that of the shore-based whaling industry that drew hardened men from around the world to the southern seas and the families they gained.Later still, Susannah becomes a first-hand witness to the events that led to the fight at the Wairau between the land-grabbing New Zealand Company and Te Rauparaha and his followers.
In an extraordinary move, in 1797, the British government pressed a small group of French and German prisoners of war into the New South Wales Corps, gave them firearms and placed them as guards on a ship carrying sixty-six convict women and two convict men to New South Wales. The result was a mutiny some months into the voyage in which the captain of the Lady Shore was killed and the fates of all of those on board were tied together when the ship was taken to South America. The true story of what happened to those on board is told here in detail for the first time, in part through the eyes of sailor George Drinkald whose fascinating and articulate first-hand testimony has recently emerged.
A funny new novel from international bestselling author Marian Keyes about Irish beautician Stella Sweeney who falls ill, falls in love, then falls into a glamorous new life in New York City. When her dream life is threatened, will she rally to reclaim love and happiness? In her own words, Stella Sweeney is just “an ordinary woman living an ordinary life with her husband and two teenage kids,” working for her sister in their neighborhood beauty salon. Until one day she is struck by a serious illness, landing her in the hospital for months. After recovering, Stella finds out that her neurologist, Dr. Mannix Taylor, has compiled and self-published a memoir about her illness. Her discovery comes when she spots a photo of the finished copy in an American tabloid—and it’s in the hands of the vice president’s wife! As her relationship with Dr. Taylor gets more complicated, Stella struggles to figure out who she was before her illness, who she is now, and who she wants to be while relocating to New York City to pursue a career as a newly minted self-help memoirist. Funny, fast-paced, and honest, Keyes’s latest novel is full of her trademark charm and wisdom and is sure to delight her many fans.
There cannot be many cities where crime could mean anything from singing a seditious song to stealing a ship, but nineteenth-century Glasgow was a unique place with an amazing dynamism. Immigrants poured in from Ireland and the Highlands, while the factories, shipyards and mills buzzed with innovation. However, underneath the hustle and bustle was a different world, as an incredibly diverse criminal class worked for their own profit - with a total disregard for the law. The highways and byways were infested with robbers; garrotters jumped on the unwary; drunken brawls disfigured the evening streets; prostitutes lured foolish men into dark corners; conmen connived clever schemes; and murder was nearly commonplace. This was a dark and dangerous world, with a volatile population and the constant threat of riots. Holding back the tide of lawlessness was Britain's first professional police force, established in Glasgow in 1800. Their task of policing the city was daunting as they faced everything from petty crime to murder, the notorious Paisley Union Bank robbery to a string of jewellery thefts in the city centre. Glasgow: The Real Mean City is a fascinating account of the century-long struggle of the forces of law and order as they battled to bring peace to a troubled city.
For centuries Seraphina Ames roamed the world with her controlling boyfriend Cyrus and their clan of immortal incarnates.Having perfected a method of alchemy that allowed them to switch bodies, they did whatever they wanted and killed whomever they wanted, until Sera made the choice to break free. Now she's hiding from Cyrus and the rest of their clan in the body of sixteen-year-old Kailey Morgan. Sera has fallen in love with her new life and family, and never thought she'd enjoy life as a teenager so much. And she certainly never expected to fall in love with Noah, the boy next door. But it seems that Cyrus has managed to track her down. He doesn't know who she is… yet, but Sera has no idea who he is either, and as Cyrus closes in, she begins to grow suspicious of Noah and all the new friends in her life. Could Cyrus and her old coven be disguising themselves right under her nose? In a deadly game of hide-and-seek, Sera must work out who Cyrus is, and fast, before he destroys the ones she loves the most…

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