Voyages of Hope: The Saga of the Bride-Ships. Peter Johnson.

Britannia Mine Museum

A line of nervous young women got off a ship in Victoria Harbour in 1862 and had to walk the gauntlet between two rows of jostling, eager men. One girl, proposed to on the spot, accepted equally quickly and left town with her new husband. Why did these women leave everything behind in England and come to the west coast? The answers lie in the lusty turmoil of a gold-rush frontier, the horrible disruptions of industrial England and the conflicting aims of earnest Christians and early British feminists.

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