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Convict Fremantle

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Long recognised for its fine heritage buildings, the cosmopolitan port city of Fremantle has special significance in Western Australian history. As first landfall to emigrating Swan River colonists, it heralded hopes for a new life after arduous months at sea. But for thousands of prisoners incarcerated in its Convict Establishment after 1850, the future was far grimmer. Convict Fremantle: A Place of Promise and Punishment guides the reader on a fascinating journey through nineteenth century Fremantle's developing face, viewed from the pivotal perspective of its dour, sprawling Victorian gaol. There are personal insights into the lives of both officials and the inmates - some of whose cramped cells, barely more than 5 cubic metres, confined them for 21 hours a day - and tales of desperate attempts to escape. The prison's architecture, its chapels, offering quiet solace for the despondent, the outbuildings, official residences and other significant colonial sites are brought to life in a wealth of detail.
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About the Author

Michal Bosworth, joint winner of the 1991 WA Premier's Award (non-fiction) for Emma: A Translated Life, here indulges with engaging passion in two of her favourite fields of research - the place in history of heritage sites and buildings, and the social impact of the prison system. In a career spanning almost a quarter century, Michal has written prolifically, both for children and adults, on such diverse topics as food, clothing, shelter, technology, migration, transport, resources and communications. She is a contributor to the Australian Dictionary of Biography, and her articles on feminism, women writers and a host of other wide-ranging topics have appeared in numerous Australian journals.

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