Encounter convictism’s youngest transportees at the next Port Arthur Talk

March 3, 2010

Professor Lucy Frost will discuss the experience of the transported children of convicts in Van Diemens Land in the next Port Arthur Talk.

Women who boarded convict transports to begin the voyage to Australia often carried infants with them or watched as their children clamoured up the sides of ships docked in London or the Irish ports. These children of convict mothers posed a conundrum for policy makers. They were not prisoners, and there was no reason to punish them. Some children sailed, and some remained behind to suffer the traumatic loss of a parent they were unlikely ever to see again. This paper suggests that the children who sailed represent an identifiable category of transportees, and by piecing together individual stories, the paper considers the experience of these children in Van Diemens Land.

Lucy Frost is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Tasmania. She has long been interested in the experiences of women who came to Australia during the nineteenth century, and has published widely on the subject. Since coming to Tasmania, she has become particularly interested in the experiences of the convict women, and is a member of the Board of the Female Factory Historic Site, and co-convenor of its Research Group.

Wednesday 17 March, 5.30pm at the Junior Medical Officer’s Conference Room, Port Arthur Historic Site

All welcome.