The Four Elizabeths

General Fiction

By Mary Maclaren

Publisher : Xlibris Publishing

ABOUT Mary Maclaren

Mary Maclaren
Born in London 1933, I went to Australia and lived there 46 years. I returned to live in UK in 2009 and have regained my life of writing. Whilst in Australia, I founded one of Queensland's biggest writing associations. (Google: Gold Coast Writers Assn.) who celebrated their  More...


A fictional tale with historical facts included, about four women convicts who were deported to the new colony. They were all named Elizabeth and formed a gang of 'trouble-makers' aboard HMS Friendship, part of the First Fleet, which left Portsmouth in April 187. Twenty one women and nearly a hundred men left on this ship. This story describes the traumas, friendships, tragedies and even funny incidents the author imagines could have developed during the voyage. It is an intriguing story and will not fail to hold the reader's interest.  The Four Elizabeths has also been described as a "reader friendly" book with 283 pages and 37 chapters.

It occurred to me that so many people could not be confined on a small ship for more than eleven months without some friendships being formed. Neither could they be that long without smiling at something, terrible though their circumstances were. When I researched, I was amazed at the facts that emerged. A woman's 4month old baby was torn from her arms because there were no 'papers'. Convicts were allowed on deck every day. They shared the oranges and other fruit that was tossed aboard at Tenerife. They were allowed to participate in the 'Crossing the Equator' ritual, complete with Father Neptune. Women were also flogged. One of my four Elizabeths managed to get a letter of complaint over to Sir Arthur Phillip, and was consequently flogged. And Lieutenant William Faddy did spend a long time battling with cockroaches in his cabin! And all the convicts were given a special meal on the night of King GeorgeIII's birthday. Do read my book, and I'm sure you will join the ranks of people waiting for it's sequel.

"WOW! is all I can say and I'm shouting for more. "
"I couldn't put it down!"      Mary Morgan. Gosport
"Brilliant!  It must become a film or TV series."  Terri Ferns. Stubbington
"It's a brilliant write, you!" Gungalo, Virgin Island. USA
"There must be a sequel."  Jean Trower. NSW Australia