Condemned to a penal colony in Australia for stealing a woman's bonnet, young Mary braves every danger in Britain's newest colony, Australia: disease, famine, rape, and the cruelty of the penal system. Mary is the first convict married in Australia, Mary learns from aboriginal friends how to survive. Eventually, she and her husband Will escape. Her daring run up the coast and all the way to Timor is yet unequaled for traveling in an open boat 3,000 miles without navigational equipment. Mary's capture, return to England and the trial that determines whether she will live or die -- all this is compelling reading. Her lawyer is none other than James Boswell and this too is a fascinating complement to a page-turning saga.