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Napoleon has been defeated, throwing an army of ex-soldiers onto the streets. 

Unemployment rises, wages fall, people struggle to simply survive and thousands perish under an uncaring, unjust system run by the elite of England in a Dickensian society. To ‘cleanse’ society and curb rising unrest (which gives birth to the Swing riots and the Tolpuddle martyrs), and to provide cheap labour to support socially-connected free settlers, the government has introduced the policy of transportation to Van Diemen's Land and New South Wales.  

In the smog-laden streets of the slums of London and the impoverished fields of rural England at the beginning of the 19th century, Mary Ann Goulding and Robert Bright are caught up in this maelstrom and find themselves all but slaves in the New World. The despair of Newgate prison, a death sentence, public hangings, riots, the resurrectionists and a hellish journey for months on the open sea to serve their sentences on an island prison begin their incredible true story.  

Painted against the backdrop of a tumultuous century, this is a deeply researched story of both the founding of a nation and how two lost souls found each other to begin building a new life in a new world.

About The Author

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David Cairns, the Baron of Finavon (an ancient Scottish title), has always been a student of history and has the ability to create an atmosphere and three–dimensional experiences with his writing style. 

Until recently, he was a technology entrepreneur. He has lived and worked on four continents and as a result has experienced the history of London and Boston, the buzz of Chicago, Nashville and Silicon Valley, the pioneering atmosphere of the South African bush, the lazy lifestyle of the Bahamas, the cultural diversities of Europe and the laid-back lifestyle of Australia, which is where he makes his home these days.  

On St Andrew's Day you will probably find him in his kilt, celebrating with a glass of single malt whisky (he prefers the Linkwood malts). He also still gets involved in technology projects (he chairs a Canadian technology company) and in charitable activity (he serves on the board of Arthritis Queensland), but his new-found passion is immersing himself in bringing history to life with his novels.

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