The Girl from Botany Bay
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Girl from Botany Bay

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  123 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Acclaim for Carolly Erickson"Carolly Erickson is one of the most accomplished and successful historical biographers writing in English."
-The Times Literary Supplement

The First Elizabeth

"Even more readable and absorbing than the justly praised works of Tuchman and Fraser. A vivid and eminently readable portrait of history's favorite Tudor."
-The New York Times Book Review

Hardcover, 234 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by Wiley (TP) (first published July 1st 2004)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 329)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This is a book based on the life of Mary Broad/Bryant.Historical references are at the rear of the book .This has to be one of the best books I have ever read. I dont want to go into too much detail as it may spoil it for those who have not yet read it. It is about Mary's transportation to New Holland ( Australia) when the Island was first being colonised.It is based on a true story and actual events.It was a book I read in a matter of days due to the fact I could not put it down.IO would recomm...more
story of a British convict, spared hanging to be sent to the new penal colony in Australia. the women were sent to keep the male convicts from falling into immoral sexual behaviors. the author is able to fill in around the little that is know of the actual day to day of the heroine with immense amounts of historical detail, much of it gruesome stuff. the result is nonfiction that reads like a novel.
Mary Bryant was from a poor farming family in the southwest of England in the year 1786. With not enough food and she left home to join the many who lived by their wits and by what ever means they could. At 21 she is arrested with 2 other girls for assaulting and robbing a woman on the road. At trial the 3 were sentenced to hang, but before the sentence was carried
out they were picked to be transported to Australia on the first of the ships of convicts to be sent to that new land to cement Briti...more
In the second half of 1700s England was faced with a dilemma: What to do with their convicts. American continent was no longer available for it due to the American Revolution. So, England started looking for a new route. England started sending their convicts to Australia. This is a story of the very First Fleet to arrive. At the heart of the story is Mary Bryant, who was convicted for a highway robbery and sentenced for a transportation to Australia. Carolly Erickson does a great job describing...more
Great Britain settled Australia much like they did Georgia, by sending prisoners to start the colony. In fact, it was because Georgia was no longer available that Britain began transporting prisoners to Australia. This book uses the story of one of the women sent to Australia after her death was commuted to transportation. It was decided that the male prisoners would need women if they were to start a colony. Prostitutes and common criminals were sent and inasmuch as it was a time of poverty and...more
The amazing true story of Mary Bryant, whose impoverished childhood in 18-century Cornwall led first to a life of outlaw daring, then when she was caught, to harsh imprisonment and exile in New South Wales, Australia. There she endured inhumane conditions at the penal colony, and made a risky escape, sailing 3,300 miles in a 20-foot longboat, with her husband, two small children and 6 other men, to the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), only to be betrayed and sent back to England. And what met her...more
Janelle Jansson
This is an absolutely fabulous tale of Mary Bryant, the girl from Botany Bay... She was arrested in the late 1700's for robbery, and was put on a ship for her punishment. This is the story of her journey, the good, the bad, and the terrible... So get lost with Mary, feel her joy, her sadness, and her excitement throughout her long journey as a female prisoner.
Sandra Strange
This book reads like fiction—modern fiction. However, it’s really the true story of a woman from the lower classes of England who drifts into bad company, is convicted of highway robbery (remarkable in itself) and sentenced to imprisonment and exile. Her amazing story includes nightmarish ship adventures, exile in Australia, inhuman suffering in the remote penal colony, and a risky escape by sea to Timor, topped by another nightmarish ship voyage back to England. The subject matter is definitely...more
A true story that describes the penal colony that Britain set up in New South Wales and the inhuman conditions in which the prisoners were transported and had to live through once they arrived. Mary Broad Bryant was convicted to die after she was caught robbing another woman. One of several dozen women, she was sent to set up the new colony instead. The women were included mainly to satisfy the physical needs of the men, and a lot of this book was hard to read, but Mary's courage and tenacity th...more
David Earle
"The Girl From Botany Bay" by Carolly Erickson is one incredible book that blew me away! What a read! If you love factual stories about survival, struggle, and daring risks under the utmost harrowing inhumane circumstances, then you will surely love this book as much as I did. This epic story of Mary Bryant is one that I can strongly recommend for anyone who loves to read true accounts of courage, survival, and perseverance against all odds.
Carole Sojka
This is historical nonfiction. Telling the story of the first convicts sent to Australia in the 1780's from the point of view of one young woman lends interest and immediacy to a story with which I was unfamiliar. The hardships and the courage with which she faced them are fascinating. I enjoyed the book a lot, as did the other members of my book group.
Very interesting. I knew that Australia was settled in large part by the convicts sent from Mother England, but I didn't realize what the conditions were really like on the ships. I guess I should have known. I found it interesting and enjoyed it. Her heartbreak could be felt.
This sounded like a great real-life historical story but after reading about 75 pages I just couldn't stomach anymore. I didn't want to read anymore about how horribly these female convicts acted and were treated. I mean, these people had no morals whatsoever. Ick.
I really like this author.
The books are all bases on true history and are very interesting stories not dry facts.

I have read a number of Carolly Erickson books and have loved them all..I have a few to be read yet as yet.

Interesting topic, but it would have been waaaaay better as a novel. Tempting to take this story and write a novel about it. Does that somehow count as plagarism? If you just steal the plot? You know, and all the relevant details?
One of those non-fictions that reads like fiction. A bit lightweight, but likeable, easy to digest and very interesting. Good use of endnotes, detailed and informative.
I messed around and only finished half of this before the due date, but I found the first half interesting enough that I'll try to check it out and finish it one of these days.
what a story. I fell in love with the mini series 'The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant'. While the book debunked the romance, the 'true grit' remains.
Ultimately unsatisfying. Mostly speculation, little hard information.
What a great unknown story. Ballsy chick is all that I can say!
If only our schools knew
How to make history this interesting :-)
Julie is currently reading it
Jul 20, 2014
Elizabeth Frank
Elizabeth Frank marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2014
Lynda Milham
Lynda Milham marked it as to-read
Jul 06, 2014
Sarah Latoza
Sarah Latoza marked it as to-read
Jun 29, 2014
Heidi marked it as to-read
Jun 12, 2014
Tina Bennett babineaux
Tina Bennett babineaux marked it as to-read
Jun 01, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts
  • The Dig Tree: The Story of Bravery, Insanity, and the Race to Discover Australia's Wild Frontier
  • The Lighthouse Stevensons: The extraordinary story of the building of the Scottish lighthouses by the ancestors of Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Mozart's Women: His Family, His Friends, His Music
  • Becoming Anna
  • A Commonwealth of Thieves: The Improbable Birth of Australia
  • Lafayette
  • The Englishman's Daughter: A True Story of Love and Betrayal in World War I
  • Evolution's Captain: The Dark Fate of the Man Who Sailed Charles Darwin Around the World
  • Pickled, Potted, and Canned: How the Art and Science of Food Preserving Changed the World
  • Savage Kingdom
  • Inventing the Victorians
  • Witchcraze: New History of the European Witch Hunts, a
  • Elizabeth Wydeville: The Slandered Queen
  • Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution
  • The Speckled Monster
  • Throwim Way Leg: Tree-Kangaroos, Possums, and Penis Gourds
  • The Secret Voyage of Sir Francis Drake: 1577-1580
Distinguished historian Carolly Erickson is the author of The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette, The First Elizabeth, Great Catherine, Alexandra and many other prize-winning works of fiction and nonfiction. She lives in Hawaii.
More about Carolly Erickson...
The Last Wife of Henry VIII The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette Bloody Mary: The Life of Mary Tudor The Tsarina's Daughter Rival to the Queen

Share This Book