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Life and Death in the Age of Sail : The Passage to Australia
368 pages, 6 x 8 1/2, cloth, UNSW Press
During the nineteenth century approximately 750,000 government-assisted emigrants crossed the world from the United Kingdom to Australia. They traveled about 15,000 miles, usually without stopping en route, sometimes in cramped conditions, occasionally with over 500 people on board. This evocative book looks at the experience of emigrants in steerage on their passage to Australia, and at those charged with their care.
This wonderfully rich and moving book focuses on the voyage and, where possible, follows the course of the travelers' lives after disembarkation in Australia. We hear from the migrants' letters and diaries as they write about everyday life on board and their hopes for the future, and as they weep over children buried at sea. Robin Haines's book is a landmark volume about the experience of migration.
Robin Haines is a senior research fellow in history at Flinders University. She is the author of Emigration and the Labouring Poor: Australian Recruitment in Britain and Ireland 1831-60.
Table of Contents
'I never look at the sea without lamenting our dear children': Sickness, health and the voyage in context
'The mother will be very unpleasantly situated': Life at sea and at home
'Poor Little Alfred was the first that died': The 1820s and 1830s
'Both Doctor and Captain was very kind to me': The 1840s
'I was nver well untill after my confinement': The 1850s
'Them as are not clean have no dinner till they are': The 1850s
'He never knew One yet that died from seasickness': The 1860s
'What a splendid passage we had': The closing decades
'We put 14,000 miles between us and home and friends': 1900-1950