John Clay

Women At Sea

The Floating Brothel


Hodder Headline 248pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

After the exuberance of the Sydney Olympics, it is easy to forget Australia’s murky convict past. This book takes us back to that time in the 1790s when transportation to Australia first began, its principal aim having been to relieve overcrowded gaols and deter crime in England. The floating brothel was the Lady Julian, part of the second fleet sent out to bring much–needed food and supplies to the new settlement. She left London in June 1789, with 237 female convicts on board. It took eleven eventful months for her to reach Sydney, thirteen thousand miles away.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Moser’s book offers such a gripping account of a profoundly damaged human being, trapped in a cycle of repetition,… ,
    • 'Ideas that I’d thought were set down in full continue to smoulder ... this book is only a snapshot of some larger… ,
    • 'Full of invention which, at its most pedestrian, is eminently Victorian, and at its most unrestrained wildly imagi… ,
    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,
    • RT : One of my favourite literary magazines is celebrating 40 years this year. Here is the September edition of… ,
    • 'Now that the Thames is too fast-flowing to freeze, its spirit’s devotees ... have found other climes for their pri… ,
    • 'Bythell glowers past his till at a world in slow free fall.' on the travails of a second-hand book… ,