Thursday, July 1, 2021

Surprize, Surprise

 Last month I attended a free webinar, Floating Prisons: Irish Convict Hulks and Voyages to NSW,  hosted by the RAHS

During the webinar Anne McMahon, the author of the book Floating Prisons: Irish Convict Hulks and Voyages to New South Wales 1823-1837, discussed the history of the Irish hulks and gave details on the lives and conditions of the convicts incarcerated on them. I learnt that one of the hulks, the Surprize, was in Cork Harbour around the time my 3xGreat-Grandfather, Patrick Curry/Corry, was transported from there. Did Patrick spend time on the Surptize?

I realised that I needed to purchase the book which was published in 2017, I'm surprised that I didn't learn about it when it was published. I was hoping to purchase an eBook copy of the work but, when I asked during the webinar, if the book was available in that format the author was quite surprised, said she didn't know about those things and it would not appear in an electronic format!!

The book was available from several online sites but I opted to buy it from Amazon because it was 9.95 cheaper there than the recommended retail on other sites. 

I received a surprise when the parcel containing the book arrived. I had expected a paperback but the book is a heavy hardcover. It has all the features of a well documented work - bibliography, contents, indexes and references and contains a few illustrations and maps.I have yet to read the book, I don't think it will identify many individual convicts but I hope it provides a valuable insight into the lives of Irish Convicts in the early 19th century. Dr Perry McIntyre wrote an honest  review of the work in 2017 for Tintean Magazine, https://tintean.org.au/2017/08/06/floating-prisons/.

Playing around on Google I found this article, https://gsq-blog.gsq.org.au/irish-prison-hulks/, by Meg Carney who, after reading McMahon's book, thinks that her ancestor spent time in Cork on the Surprize. I wonder if I will come to the same conclusion for Patrick after reading the book. 

2 comments:

Bobbie said...

What a shame it’s not an eBook. Interesting read Jill, as I was reading I remembered Meg’s blog late last year, it was a good story. She had done quite an amount of research into it.
Bobbie

Sharon said...

I have a copy of this book sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read when I retire. Would have enjoyed the webinar.

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