Thursday, February 21, 2008


I’ve been tagged by the Goat. So here’s the game:

1. Pick up the nearest book of at least 123 pages.

The Floating Brothel by Siân Rees The extraordinary true story of an 18th century ship and its cargo of female convicts.

2. Open the book to page 123 and quote the fifth sentence.
“With nothing in the way of detergent, the dirt was boiled and then beaten out of the linen.”

3. Post the next three sentences.
“Stripped to the minimum required by decency, the women did the washing. The top deck trembled as rows of them, up and down the waist of the ship, thwacked its timbers with shirts, shifts, sheets, hammocks, trews, and a vast pile of sanitary napkins. Rivulets of filthy water trickled down the sides.”

I must add that this is a fascinating history of one of the first shiploads of female convicts (1789) sent out to Sydney Harbor to help populate the new colony. Rees gives individual stories of these women--from their crimes and trials, to their prison sentences, to their transportation -- and the ship's voyage from Portsmouth to Rio to Cape Town to Australia. Meticulously researched and unputdownable.

4. Tag five people.

KSA Woodchuck
Little Yellow Duck

(Non-bloggers can respond here!)


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