The true story of ‘Convict Girl’ Mary Bryant is an astonishing tale of hardship and determination in the 18th century. Born Mary Broad in 1765; at the age of twenty Mary committed a minor felony. Such was the savagery of Britain’s judicial system that Mary was sentenced to seven years’ deportation to the new penal colony of Botany Bay.
The privation and desperation of the prisoners were compounded by starvation and disease. Mary, her fisherman husband Will Bryant, their two young children and seven convicts made their escape by stealing the colony’s small fishing boat. So began one of the most incredible voyages in sailing history. Will navigated their open boat for 3,250 miles round the east and north coasts of Australia to land in the Dutch colony on the island of Timor. But their troubles were far from over.
Laurie Sheehan’s writing, underpinned by meticulous research and contemporary articles, maintains the tension of the story to its final pages and the true and unbelievable conclusion.