'In August 1833, the Amphitrite, a small convict ship bound for the colonies of Australia, was wrecked in a terrible storm on the coast of France. She carried 102 female prisoners, 12 of their children, along with the captain, the crew, a medical officer and one passenger - the medical officer's wife. Only three people survived.
It was the convict era's first major shipwreck. The death of so many women and children, largely due to the incompetence and blind bigotry of those responsible for their safety, was a scandal that threatened to rock the very foundations of the transportation system. The reaction of the British Government was to cover it up, refusing to release even the names of the dead, depriving those tragic women and children of their very identity, even in death.
Gerald Stone, bestselling author and acclaimed journalist, has written a brilliant narrative recreation of the voyage and its disastrous end that brings these lost women back to life, revealing the world they lived in, their crimes, their loves, their hopes, their fears, and their final tragedy. Beautiful Bodies is a masterful and compelling work of living, breathing history.' (From the publisher's website.)