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From the Edges of Empire: convict women from beyond the British Isles, the latest book from Convict Women’s Press, will be launched by the Lord Mayor of Hobart, Sue Hickey, on Sunday November 8 at 10.30 am at the Cascades Female Factory Historic Site.  You are invited to join us at the launch.

Most Australians today will be surprised to learn that women were sent to the Australian colonies after trials in Mauritius, the Cape Colony (South Africa), India, Honduras, or Barbados. This book tells stories of women born in places outside the British Isles, women whose journeys across the world began well before they stood in a courtroom to be sentenced to transportation “beyond the Seas”.


Convict Women’s Press Inc now has its own website, with an online shop, at  FCRC members are reminded that the two organisations are separately incorporated. If you would like to become a member of CWP, contact the organisation at:


Two new books from Douglas Wilkie.

The Journal of Madame Callegari

This tells the true story behind Alexandre Dumas’s 1855 book The Journal of Madame Giovanni. Who was Madame Giovanni? She was really Madame Callegari. And before that, she was Louisa La Grange a young Frenchwoman transported to Van Diemen’s Land in 1843. The story of her adventures must be one of the most remarkable tales of a woman’s travels in the mid nineteenth century. Brochure (PDF) on The Journal of Madame Callegari


The Life and Loves of Eugene Rossiet Lennon, Professeur Extraordinaire

Louisa La Grange’s original accomplice in crime was Eugene Lennon. He too was transported to Van Diemen’s Land. But he led a totally different life as a tutor, teacher, villain and hero. Eventually, after marrying and moving to Geelong he was head master of the Flinders National School for nearly thirty years and was hailed as ‘the father of modern education’ in Geelong. His school still exists today, as does his legacy. Brochure (PDF) on Eugene Lennon


Details of both books along with purchase details can be found on the Historia Incognita website at



The Public Records Office of Victoria has just released online the Female Prison Registers 1855-1934. You can read about them here.



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