Manager of the Greenland Docks in Rotherhithe (London), Susanna’s father Thomas Strickland retired early to establish himself as a country gentleman. His wife Elizabeth gave birth to Susanna their sixth daughter on December 6, 1803.
If Roughing It in the Bush was originally written for nineteenth century armchair travellers, then Susanna’s Journey of a Lifetime is its 21st century update: a digital ‘pilgrimage’ that charts Susanna’s trajectory across the Atlantic with a corresponding arc through time from 1803 to the present day.
Virtually visit 29 actual locations plotted on the digital world map to see the places where Susanna really lived and wrote---as they were then and as they are now.
Her story begins two centuries ago in a rambling old English country manor house full of legends and folklore. The intense youngest sister more interested in playing with frogs than dolls could not know that her destiny lay far away. The continent that engulfed Susanna and John Moodie was a dangerous alien place, unrecognizable from what it is today. The first settlers arriving often found the sky obscured by the dense branches of ancient trees towering hundreds of feet above them.
There in that swampy, unfertile bush land, swarming with insects, disease, animals and an odd assembly of castaways huddled together in tight quarters, there was no law, and no refuge, no money and nothing to buy.
It seemed as if nothing in her life as a literary lady in London could have prepared Susanna for the struggle that lay ahead. Imagine it was you there in her place. What would you have done?