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Official Website of the Author

Doug Limbrick


Death Ships.jpeg


Click on each book cover to see a summary
To access more information on some of the books hover curser over "Books" in the header menu & additional pages can be selected




























Latest Book News

If you are new to my website welcome, this is where I place brief notices of new book developments, more details are provided elsewhere on the website. I value reader feedback and suggestions about subjects that you feel I might like to write about. 

Advanced copy of the book has arrived, looks fabulous. The images (over 130) of S.T. Gill's wonderful art work look great. The publisher will be releasing the book on 20 September - copies from me, the publisher or bookshops. More details in Projects & Research section (click in menu bar) 
In The Press


The Stag Diary

'Includes an important transcript of Francis Taylor's diary from his passage on the Stag in 1850 to South Australia. One of very few diaries written by steerage class passengers travelling to the Australian colonies in the nineteenth century. The book sets the scene with details of life on sailing ship, details of the vessels and conditions in SA in 1850'.


Farewell to Old
England Forever

It was fascinating to read about the motives that prompted people to leave their homeland and travel such a vast distance, enduring extreme hardship only to land in what must have been a totally alien environment.



By Steve,


Running the Marathon

with Cancer

A great story of courage, hope and joy, which is told with brutal honesty at times but with passion and positive belief. Compulsive reading for all runners and those who love a story of how self belief can overcome just about everything.


By Richard, CANBERRA



Death Ships
“A work of veritable integrity and valued history that needed to be recorded concisely and honestly. A great piece of work…”


Indiebook Reviewer.

Death Ships
Great review in the Canberra Weekly by Jeff Popple on 21 October 2021.

See full text of review - just click on 'Books' in the menu bar at the top and then click on Death Ships.

Death Ships
More great reviews in The
Canberra Times and the Bendigo Adveriser on Saturday 20 November 2021.

Farewell to Old

England Forever

I’m giving this book 5 out of 5 stars. It was well-written, well-researched, has pristine formatting and editing, and contains beautiful illustrations/photos/painting. This book is of high quality! I highly recommend it to readers who would like to feed their knowledge of the fascinating history of the Australian emigration.



By Shey Saints,

Amazon & Facebook

Farewell to Old England Forever


 It Was Far More Than Convicts

I think most people view 19th-century emigration to Australia as a tale of criminals sent to the end of the earth, but it’s much more interesting than that. This lushly researched book conveys the full story, from the reasons why people resettled, the means, the vessels, and finally the extraordinary 13,000-mile voyage itself. For passengers it could be a nightmare of disease, seasickness, stench, and death, and for the crew, geographic disorientation, gales, icebergs – and, on approaching Australia, reefs where hundreds of ships foundered. This is a great work. It put me right there.
Robert Delft - posted on Amazon June 9, 2022.

Running the Marathon with Cancer
Another 5 Star Review

Out of five, this incredible book merits a perfect rating for its original, simple and amazing presentation. I recommend it to cancer patients as bibliotherapy. Other readers of inspirational books will also find this book a great source of encouragement. Through reading about Doug's hope, perseverance and optimism, and eventual resolve to become a marathoner again, readers will be encouraged to always fight on despite the odds that are against them in life.



I always appreciate receiving comments on my books. Send an email to me: 

Death Ships
I recommend it to lovers of History... This excellent text merits the maximum rating of five out of five stars.
Hellen Huini, 26 December 2021.



Full review on Goodreads:

Death Ships Movie now on You Tube


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At the wheel of the S S Great Britain in Bristol, one of the vessels featured in my book: Farewell to Old England Forever.


Doug Limbrick is a graduate of the Australian National University, Canberra. He worked for many years in the area of social policy and has had many journal articles, monographs and reports published on various social issues. He has a deep personal interest in nineteenth century Australian history, particularly the story of those people who emigrated from the United Kingdom and the vessels they sailed in to reach the Australian colonies. In his writing he has combined his expertise in social issues with his work on exploring the circumstances of people who sought a better life in the colonies in the nineteenth century. As a consequence he has spent much time searching for and examining the stories of those who emigrated, seeking to understand their experiences, the reasons for their decision to emigrate, the difficulties they faced, the outcome of their passage and the vessels that carried them to the Australian colonies.


As a result he has written several books exploring nineteenth-century emigration issues, processes, experiences and stories with an emphasis on the stories as told by emigrants. His book (Farewell to Old England Forever) is a comprehensive study of the complete story of nineteenth century emigration. His latest book Death Ships is a sad story about some 5000 emigrants who departed for the colonies in six big ships seeking a better life.


Doug is also a keen runner and has been involved in running activities including club administration for many years. He has completed 26 marathons and some 60 half marathons and has also competed in many cross country and mountain running events for the past 30 years. His Guide to Running Your First Marathon draws directly on his personal experience. The book Running the Marathon with Cancer is a personal story that combines his passion for running with dealing with rectal cancer. While not writing or running Doug is a very keen photographer and also an enthusiastic collector of vintage cameras. As a historian vintage cameras offer for him a sense of time.

Doug at work in the study

Kodak Brownie 6 Folding c.1937

Leica IE c.1938

Kodak Six-20 Brownie Junior c. 1934

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News and Events


Guide to Running Your First Marathon

Latest edition (3rd) is now available from bookshops, some running shops or from the  author (this website) at special price of $8.00 delivered.

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'Running the Marathon with Cancer'

Book on sale this website direct from the author by sending an email to or most book stores.

Death Ships - send me an email if you would like a copy.
including postage
Now available at bookstores, the publisher Shawline ( or the author ($25.00 including postage).
BLOG - See my blog for further updates on my books, my latest projects and research interests.

My book Death Ships released on 16 July 2021 has been nominated for four awards

Death Ships 

This book tells the story of a sad chapter in emigration history that occurred as a result of the discovery of gold in 1851. The gold rush led to an enormous demand for labour to replace those that had gone to find their fortune. Many more emigrants were urgently needed. The normal emigrant ships were not available but 6 very large clipper ships built in North America were. This is the story of what happened when they were commissioned to transport large numbers of emigrants to Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. The Shackamaxon (see image below) is one of the ships featured in the story. The other five ships are the Bourneuf, Wanata, Marco Polo, Ticonderoga and Beejapore.

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For more information on Death Ships go to the menu bar at a the top and hover on 'Books' then select Death Ships.

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Death Ships

First review:
“A work of veritable integrity and valued history that needed to be recorded concisely and honestly. A great piece of work…” Richard, Indiebook Reviewer.

Since this review I am pleased to say there have been many more. 

Ship: Shackamaxon 



For any inquiries, to send me any comments or to purchase books please contact me at:

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