New Book Release: June 2020

A BRIDE OF CONVENIENCE, the third book in my bride-ship series, is now available!

In A BRIDE OF CONVENIENCE, my hope is to show the perspective of one of the brides who came on the second bride ship that sailed to Victoria. This ship, called the Robert Lowe, left approximately four months after the Tynemouth (the bride ship highlighted in the first two books in the series).

While the women aboard the Robert Lowe were sponsored by the Columbia Emigration Society the same as the Tynemouth women, a distinct difference exists between the two groups. The group on the first ship came largely from the London area and was comprised of wealthy middle-class women as well as the poor plucked from orphanages and slums

The Robert Lowe women, however, were from the cotton manufacturing districts in Manchester, England. The calamity in the midlands was widespread, with tens of thousands of cotton-mill workers suffering from unemployment as a result of the cotton shortage brought about by the American Civil War. The women chosen to immigrate aboard the Robert Lowe were among the many who’d lost their jobs. In light of the bleak conditions in their homeland, the three dozen Manchester mill girls were happy to be offered the chance at a better life in the colonies where work and husbands awaited them.

The Robert Lowe arrived in January after three months without any stops. After spending a weekend of rest and quarantine aboard the Robert Lowe, the women were ferried to Victoria aboard a steamship. Before they could go to shore, however, two ill women were taken to the hospital with what was believed to be consumption or Mill fever, an illness common among mill workers. Since the lung ailments can lie dormant, the women may have already had the disease, and the damp sea voyage may have allowed it to progress. Whatever the case, the two women died shortly after arriving in Victoria.

The rest of the brides came ashore to great fanfare. With the arrival of another bride ship, the excitement of the men in the colonies escalated. With not nearly enough women for all the eager men, the women (similar to the Tynemouth women) had to run a gauntlet through the mobs hoping to find brides. While the heroine of the book, Zoe, isn’t based on any real person in particular, I did hope to portray her bride-ship experience through the eyes of a mill woman.

If you haven’t yet read the previous books in the series, A RELUCTANT BRIDE and THE RUNAWAY BRIDE, don’t worry. A BRIDE OF CONVENIENCE can be read by itself as a standalone (although I do encourage you to read it as well for the perspective of one of the poor working class women aboard the bride ships).

To find out more information on A BRIDE OF CONVENIENCE, visit my website here:

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