The Story of Betty Steel: Deaf Convict and Pioneer

Front Cover
Deafness Resources Australia, 1995 - Convicts - 222 pages
"In 1991, beneath the floor of the Sydney Town Hall, workmen unearthed an old gravestone made of yellow sandstone. On the headstone could be deciphered the words: In memory of Eliz. Steel who died June 7th 1795 ... Aged .... Elizabeth Steel was deaf. As far as we know she was the first deaf person to arrive in Australia from England. This is her story. The book traces the journey of Betty Steel from one of the worst of London's slums to the hellish conditions of Clerkenwell and Newgate prisons, before journeying with her across unknown seas to Sydney and Norfold Island. It is the story of her life on the transport ship 'Lady Juliana', first on the Thames where she was crowded below the decks with more than two hundred other convicts, and then on the long and dangerous journey to Australia. Here too is the story of her life on Norfolk Island where she pioneered a farm with her husband James Mackey, himself an ex-convict, before moving back to Sydney when payments from the governemnt for their maize were not honoured, only to die twelve months later. This is also a story told from the point of view of Betty herself, an imaginative history which builds on the bedrock of conventional evidence to create a subaltern history, a history told by a woman from deep within communities whose members have usually been condemned to the margins of history, denied individual historical identity and denied a voice. A deaf pioneer emerges from the shadows to tell her moving and epic tale." - back cover.

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About the author (1995)

Donald Miller is a best-selling author and public speaker based in Nashville, Tennessee who focuses on Christian spirituality. Miller's first book, Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance (Harvest House Publishers 2000), chronicled the cross-country road trip he took at age 21. It was printed with little fanfare, but it was republished more successfully in 2005 as Through Painted Deserts. Miller became a New York Times Bestselling Author when he published Blue Like Jazz in 2003. In 2004, Miller released Searching For God Knows What. In 2006, he added another book, To Own A Dragon. Don's next book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, was released in late 2009. His title Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Acquiring a Taste for True Intimacy became a New York Times bestseller in 2015. In 2009 Miller began production of All Things Converge, a series of DVDs for small groups that feature Miller interviewing prominent Christian writers and theologians. The first three DVDs in the series were released in the fourth quarter of 2009.

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