Tuesday, 10 November 2015
Book Launch: Van Diemen's Women
While this book looks at the lives of all the women aboard the one ship, it focuses on two women in particular: Eliza Davis, who was transported from Wicklow Gaol for life for infanticide, having had her sentence commuted from death, and Margaret Butler, sentenced to seven years’ transportation for stealing potatoes in Carlow. Their ship sailed from Kingston Harbour (Dun Laoghaire), reaching Hobart Town three months later.
Using original records, this study reveals the reality of transportation, together with the legacy left by these women in Tasmania and beyond, and shows that this Draconian punishment was, for some, at least, a life-saving measure.
As well as being a scholarly work, the book brings out the human tragedies of mid-nineteenth century Ireland and the reality of life for those transported to the other side of the world. It includes a forward by Mary McAleese, an eight-page glossary of relevant terms and institutions, trial statistics, and a 22-page index.
Joan Kavanagh is well-known in Co. Wicklow historical circles for her work in establishing both the Wicklow Genealogy service and the Wicklow Gaol visitor centre. Dianne Snowden is an academic historian and a professional genealogist. She is currently Chairperson of the Australasian Association of Genealogists and Record Agents (AAGRA).
Published by The History Press, the illustrated book can be bought at G2 in Main Street, Baltinglass, and at Bridge Street Books, Wicklow Town, as well as through main book shops and online outlets.
Posted by Claire Santry, Irish Genealogy News