Author(s): Kellinde Wrightson
The notorious baby killer Frances Thwaites, in her day as famous perhaps as Ned Kelly, and whose execution in 1894 led the hangman to kill himself rather than perform the deed. Frances was alternately demonized and fantasised over, though her role as one of the colony's most infamous baby farmers has usually been depicted as evidence of a depraved psychopath. This novel, based on a meticulous re-examination of letters, trial transcripts and first-hand accounts, tells a different tale. In the style of Alias Grace and The True History of the Kelly Gang, The Notorious Frances Thwaites tells the poignant story of a young girl unfairly condemned to life in the colony who struggled through adversity to survive the harsh environment of Australia - a girl hanged for a crime she may not have committed. Beautifully written and evocatively told, this is a story at once lyrical and bold. The first work in a trilogy about the lives of Frances and her two daughters, this book both introduces a fresh new voice into the Australian literary scene, and resurrects the voice of a tragic Australian heroine so that her true story can at last be told.