New book highlights George Town Female Factory


The fourth in a series of books about Tasmanian convict women, Convict Lives at the George Town Female Factory, was launched at the weekend.

The book is a collection of stories about 31 female convicts who were incarcerated at the George Town Female Factory when the town was the main settlement in the north.

An estimated 14,000 convict women were transported to Van Diemen’s Land from the time of British settlement in 1803 until 1853 when convict transportation ended.

During that time, five female factories were established across the state to house convict women who were pending assignment, awaiting childbirth or undergoing punishment. They lived in abhorrent conditions, with poor hygiene, inadequate nutrition, and in overcrowded accommodation.

The George Town Female Factory, which operated between 1822 and 1834, is arguably the lesser known of Tasmania’s five female houses of correction, but this meticulously researched book will help to rectify that.

Twenty-six authors contributed to the book capturing Tasmania’s rich convict history and ensuring the stories are passed on to future generations. The book was edited by Dr Alison Alexander, the Female Convicts Research Centre Inc. and Convict Women’s Press Inc.

There is more information on the Convict Women’s Press website.