Between 1803 and 1853, some 80,000 convicts were transported to Van Diemen's Land. Revising established models of the colonies--which depicted convict women as a peculiarly oppressed group--Gender, Crime, and Empire argues that convict men and women in fact had much in common. Comparing men and women, ideas about masculinity, femininity, sexuality, and the body, this book argues that fuller account of class must take place to understand the relationships between gender and power. The book considers the shifting nature of state policies towards courtship, relationships, and attempts at family formation that became matters of class conflict. It explores the ways gender and family informed liberal and humanitarian critiques of the colonies from the 1830s and 1840s and colonial demands for abolition and self-government.