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The Tin Ticket: The Heroic Journey of Australia's Convict Women Hardcover – October 5, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Hardcover; First Edition edition (October 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425236722
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425236727
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,151,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Irish feature in disproportionate numbers among the convicts transported to Australia. The number of female Irish convicts rose considerably in the aftermath of the great Irish Famine, a period which also saw the transportation of more than 4,000 Irish orphans girls as "breeding stock" for the new colony. Deborah Swiss brings new light and insight into the story of female convicts transported to Australia and in telling this story through the lives of a number of individual women brings home to us both the tragedy and the triumph of these resilient women."
-Mßirtfn + Fainfn, Ambassador of Ireland

"Deborah Swiss eloquently and engagingly uncovers a buried and important piece of Australian "herstory," convicted women who endured injustice, cruelty, and hardship. Even more than that, Swiss skillfully illuminates their essence in their extraordinary resilience, determination, and courage. An inspiration to all."

-Birute Regine, author of Iron Butterflies: Women Transforming Themselves and the World.

"The Tin Ticket powerfully illustrates the unimaginable vulnerability and desperation that came with being poor and female two hundred years ago in Britain. But the stories of the women in this book are not too different from those of the millions who are trafficked across continents even today for cheap labor or sex. And like these women, the founding mothers of Australia exemplify the same remarkable resilience and resourcefulness that women show to pull themselves and their families out of adversity. The Tin Ticket tells their story, and enriches our shared history as women and as human beings."
-Ritu Sharma, Co-Founder and President, Women Thrive Worldwide

"History books far too often scant the stories of women, of the poor, and of those swallowed up in the prison system. Deborah Swiss has broken this triple barrier to bring us a moving and fascinating story -- both of forgotten people who were ruthlessly exploited, and of a remarkable woman who did much to help them."
-Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold's Ghost and Bury the Chains, co-founder of Mother Jones.



About the Author

Deborah J. Swiss received her Ed.D. from Harvard University, and is the author of Women and the Work/ Family Dilemma, Women Breaking Through, and The Male Mind at Work. She lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

My heart went out to these women and children!
Mary Epping
The amount of research that was done by the author is astounding and has brought together a story well worth telling.
Joyma
Yes, this book, is really great, and I will read it after my other daughter finishes with it.
Jane

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By D. Burke on October 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Before reading this book, I knew little about Australia's convict past. I had a vague notion that a lot of criminals from England and Ireland travelled to Australia to settle the area under British rule... ergo, the rowdy, "cowboy" spirit of the Australian people. I had no idea that, between the mid 1700's though the mid 1800's, convicts were forcibly exiled to Australia for crimes as minor pilfering stockings or a loaf of bread... or that women and children were among those torn from family and friends and shipped to an untamed land on the other side of the world. Though their sentences ranged from 7 to 10 years (during which they were indentured servants under rigorous government rule), few had the means to return home once they earned their freedom. Thus, in most cases, their exile lasted a lifetime.

What makes Ms. Swiss's book truly remarkable is that, woven into the layers of fascinating, meticulously-researched facts about this dark chapter in history, are the personal stories of 3 women who had the grit, heart, and determination to survive the 4-month voyage across the seas, as well as their long sentences in Australia. Two were street urchins from Glasgow who stole here and there to get by; they were barely out of childhood when they were sentenced and shipped to a government-run female factory in Tasmania. The third was a widow and mother of 4 who stole some spoons and a bread basket after falling on hard times. Their stories are as engrossing; their characters are fully realized. I found that I could not put the book down... I had to learn what was in store for them as they struggled to survive their ordeals and forge their way to freedom.

I came away from the book all the wiser about the true circumstances of the convict maids... and very grateful for the opportunity to get to know the courageous, spirited women who, despite being dealt a cruel hand in life, managed to live productive, happy lives in their new homeland.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By R T on October 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book! Great writing, draws you in from the first page. I really enjoyed the incredible detail woven into the story of these remarkable survivors and was completely transported by this epic and spellbinding saga. Kudos to Swiss, whose extensive research brings sharp focus and vivid color to this long-suppressed and shocking piece of history. A wonderful and inspirational journey to a fascinating time and place, told in a fluid and riveting style. Totally engrossing, at points heartbreaking to the point of tears, at others I found myself laughing out loud. A thoroughly satisfying read. Highly recommended!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By bridget3420 on November 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Touching, engaging and overwhelming are the first three words that come to mind when trying to explain my feelings on this book. It's a remarkable true story that will have you crying and later on jumping for joy. The Tin Ticket taught me a lot about what it means to be a woman and also, how you have to fight for yourself because if you don't, no one else will. It's amazing and should be added to the reading lists at high school's everywhere. Five stars!
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Format: Hardcover
Too often the historical contributions and achievements of women have been overlooked, or at best given 'token' status in textbooks. Deborah Swiss has done something incredible with The Tin Ticket. Here she uncovers the stories of four women who were victimized by the British crown, and transported to Van Dieman's land for crimes bred by abject poverty, in order to assist in the 'taming' of her Majesty's colonial outliers between 1788 and 1868. Amazingly, these women, despite the desperation of their forced circumstances, managed to not only survive, but thrive, and Deborah Swiss traces their contributions down to their great-great-great-etc. grandchildren. The Tin Ticket is meticulously researched and lushly written; it's a necessary addition to historical canon, and a great tribute to the founding mothers of Australia.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By carobean22 on November 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an incredible book. I was amazed at the details found on the women's lives that this book focuses on. I was shocked at the journey these women had to go through as they were just trying to survive and were punished for it. I am still thinking about this book weeks after I finished it and thats how I know that this is one of the most important pieces I have ever read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By bridgetskin on October 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have great respect for the Quakers after reading "The Tin Ticket." As a reformer Mrs. Fry wouldn't bow to the queen or anybody else. Her calling in life was to help the forgotten. Their belief is that nobody is better than anybody else. There are no saints. Her first visit to Newgate Prison, written in exquisite detail, is a metaphor for life. Just keep moving forward to achieve your goal of helping people no matter what's underfoot. It tells a historical story in rich detail, of how inhumane people can be to one another and another story of kindness, survival & friendship. It should be required reading for all. I felt rooted to the story, could have been me or my kin. The fact that their descendants are still making bonnets for the 900 children as a travelling memorial shows what an important story it still is today. The paperback will be in everybody's stocking this year! Can't wait for the movie!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Trish on November 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Tin Ticket is a GREAT book club read! Swiss has a wonderful way of weaving historical events of the day with her compelling, sometimes haunting, story of these convict women. The Tin Ticket opened my eyes to a growing early 19th century British Empire, warts and all, and a history I was unfamiliar with. Thank God for women like Elizabeth Fry and her compatriots who stood firm against the unjust and inhumane treatment of prisoners and the social reforms that were put in motion. A must read!!!
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