The fascinating story of Norah Cobbett marks a great achievement for our prolific story writer Don Bradmore. This latest contribution is the 50th story Don has written for FCRC. In each of the stories on the lives of our female convicts Don has woven a background of historical context which gives the reader a glimpse into 19th century life in Van Diemen’s Land. Norah Cobbett, a convict described as both notorious and charismatic, is immortalized, with her husband Jorgen Jorgenson (self-proclaimed King of Iceland), in the carvings on the famous convict-built Ross bridge. Norah's life story, like that of many other convict women, has previously been overshadowed by the tales of her adventurous husband, who was very much involved in VDL’s ‘Black Wars’. Now Don’s work has shone a spotlight on her short and troubled life.
Don’s stories for the FCRC have featured meticulous research on diverse topics such as opiate use on babies. The women he portrays cover the spectrum of convict experience, from those who became successful businesswomen, to those who married and settled down to raise a family and those whose troubled circumstances prompted a descent into intoxication and dereliction. One of Don's stories features a memorable convict woman who gained her freedom by saving her husband from being killed by a bushranger - and also captured the bushranger! Many thanks to Don and our wonderful team of transcribers and volunteers, who contribute the threads that get woven into these great stories. We look forward to many more stories from Don.
Norah Cobbett immortalised on the convict-built Ross Bridge, Macquarie River, Ross, Tasmania.
Source: Debra Cadogan-Cowper
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