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The Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True…

The Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of an… (2001)

by Sian Rees

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4371124,058 (3.7)16

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Great and informative book, educational and shocking, overall I would recommend you read this in your life time before it is forgotten ( )
  Helen.Hunter | Mar 14, 2015 |
A little plodding in parts, but lively enough. Rees makes some observations about the relativity of justice and morality across time, but the bulk of her story is simply carried forward by the facts and the intimate narrative of John Nicol, retrieved decades later by a friendly ghost writer. Anyone with an interest in crime and punishment in late Georgian England, or in the colonisation of Australia would do well to stop with this book a while, but I'd recommend reading it alongside Tim Flannery's reissue of John Nicols 'The Life and Adventures of John Nicol, Mariner'.

All that said, the book is nowhere near as lively as bhowell's review of it here in LibraryThing. In fact bhowell's description of the book, and the book itself seem to part company in a radical kind of way after about 100 pages. For all of that, if Hollywood ever made a movie of Rees' book bhowells could certainly have written the script. Having checked out some of bhowell's other reviews this seems to be something of an entertaining aberration on her part. ( )
  nandadevi | Dec 28, 2014 |
A raw piece of Australian history ( )
1 vote GlenRalph | Oct 30, 2009 |
Wow! Captivating 18th century British and Australian history. Stories of the lives of a shipfull of convict women on their way to Van Diemen's Land. Sometimes written more like a novel than a history. Sometimes slow, but fascinating read. ( )
2 vote Liciasings | Aug 18, 2009 |
This is a great read but its title is a little deceptive. This is a true story of a group of English women being transported to Australia and almost certain death for mostly petty crimes. They decide to live. They overcome the crew and take command of the ship. They then live the lives of pirates until they have enough money to retire as genteel wealthy widows in a city in the northeastern states. These women entice travelers aboard the ship with promises of sexual favours but mostly these men receive a roughing up and loss of all of their money and property and are then tossed out, back to their ship or the mainland if they are lucky. The women are more properly described as pirates as their goal is theft and promised sexual services are frequently not forthcoming. Like sensible women, they save their money and give up piracy when they have enough to retire in comfort. They then live the rest of their lives as respectable well off women, wisely choosing to settle in America, where immigrants abound and there is little risk of detection. ( )
1 vote bhowell | May 15, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0747266328, Paperback)

In July 1789, 237 women convicts left England for Botany Bay in Australia on board a ship called The Lady Julian, destined to provide sexual services and a breeding bank for the men already there. This is the enthralling story of the women and their voyage. Based on painstaking research into contemporary sources such as letters, trial records and the first-hand account of the voyage written by the ship's steward, John Nicol, this is a riveting work of recovered history. The Floating Brothel brilliantly conjures up the sights, sounds and particularly the smells of life on board ship at the time and is populated by a cast of larger-than-life characters you will never forget.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:06 -0400)

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In 1789, 237 women convicts left England for Botany Bay in Aust. on board a ship called The Lady Julia, destined to provide sexual services and a breeding bank for the men already there. This is the story of the women aboard that ship.

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