by Joan Blackburn
Adventures of Charlotte Adshead 1858-1929 ~ the story of a Cockney girl who travelled to New Zealand in the late 19th Century
This is the true story of Charlotte Adshead. Born in the 1850s in Clapham, London, she emigrated on her own to New Zealand at a time when to do such a thing was fraught with danger.
It is also the story of Frederick Gosley, the seafarer whose life changed when he met Charlotte.
It changed even more when he went blind and it took all the will-power and tenacity that the plucky Cockney girl had been born with to overcome the difficulties that were to follow.
The book follows the couple through the years of their lives, which included events ranging from the sinking of the Titanic, the devastating First World War and Votes for Women until their deaths in 1929, within a few months of each other. From Charlotte’s father Thomas to her Granddaughter, Lily Dorothy, it traces over a century of history.
The conversations are of necessity imagined but the facts and most of the people (including the passengers on the SS British King, on which Charlotte sailed to New Zealand) are real. Only a few minor fictional characters were added for the purposes of continuity.