Carnal Transgression explores a history of slavery in Australia few are taught about at school.
The heroine of the book, Constance Dunbar, was an indentured slave, brought to Australia under the guise of being found honourable work. Sadly, this was not often the case.
Thousands of Irish girls were taken from workhouses in the 1800s and sent to Australia, told they were needed to serve the needs of the new colonists, and many welcomed the opportunity for a new life in a new country.
It has been estimated that up to 4,000 young girls, some not even teenagers, made the hellish trip, some beaten within an inch of their lives along the journey. So many thought to find freedom away from the hardships of their homeland. What awaited them in Australia was often a horrific experience though, so many of them sold into prostitution or made indentured servants of harsh employers.
Given that my mother’s family is Irish, I wanted to explore this part of local history, and recognise the ill-treatment of my ancestors. Unlike so many in real life though, Constance from Carnal Transgression, was lucky enough to find someone who cared enough about her to try and give her real freedom.