The ‘hungry thirties’ of the 1800’s were desperate times of hopeless poverty and unemployment in Britain. Mechanisation of farms and factories had cast thousands out of work. The farm workers rallied behind ‘Captain Swing’, a mythical figurehead who urged them to protest by smashing machines and burning crops.
Daniel Imlach and three fellow ‘Swing Rioters’ are convicted of burning hay ricks and transported to Van Diemen’s Land for seven years. Daniel is put aboard the ill-fated George 111 and suffers shipwreck just sixty miles from Hobart Town in April 1835. The survivors reach Hobart Town a few days later.
Daniel is assigned to a coach builder whose wife schemes to have him to marry her daughter in order to assist with her ambition to build a great family business and respectability. Daniel wants his wife and daughter to join him in Van Diemen’s Land , but he has to overcome difficulties that were put in his way by circumstances, and an unscrupulous woman.
This is a work of fiction based on true events.
The wreck of the George 111 in D’Entrecasteaux Channel in 1835 with the loss of 133 lives, mostly convicts, was the worst shipping disaster ever to strike Van Diemen’s Land in the convict era. The portrayal of colonial life as a convict is true to the historical records.