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The Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of an Eighteenth-Century Ship and its Cargo of Female Convicts by Sian Rees
In 1789, the Lady Julian set sail from England carrying 237 female convicts to Australia. This was done not only to help unload the burden on the local jails, but to provide wives to the men who had made the trip down under with the "First Fleet" of ships the year before. Sian Rees documents the treatment of the women as human cargo and temporary wives to the male crew of the ship, as prostitutes when they visited different ports of call on their 11-month voyage, and their quick marriages to the men in Australia regardless whether the women had husbands or children back home. Gathering mostly positive reviews, Aussiereviews.com calls The Floating Brothel "an absorbing read."