My latest book is getting closer to being available. It's currently with my editor.
The book tells the story of how six wonderful looking clipper ships built in North America but registered in Liverpool were commissioned to bring large numbers of emigrants to the Australian colonies in 1852, following the discovery of gold in 1851.
It seemed like a great opportunity to be able to use these large vessels that could not only move large numbers of emigrants but could also do so much more quickly than the normal emigration ships. The normal emigrant ships weren't available because the ship owners were much more interested in making easy money by transporting the enormous number of people wanting to get to the gold fields.
The six ships were based in Liverpool which was not a health place in the middle of the nineteenth century. The emigrants who were largely Scots, Irish and English from very depressed areas, needed to move to Liverpool to be processed and wait embarkation. This process exposed these people to the diseases of the Victorian era. Many of them had no immunity to these diseases as they had not been exposed before.
Each of the six ships set off from Liverpool in 1852 with 700-1000 passengers onboard. My book tells the story of nineteenth-century emigration, the diseases of the Victorian era, Liverpool as a port, the gold rush and what occurred on the six ships during their passage to the colonies.
One of those vessels was the Marco Polo, featured in the painting below.