Elizabeth Scott - The Shanty Keeper's Wife


The Shanty Keeper's Wife

A novel by

Emma Beach and Cheryl Burman


The life and death of Elizabeth Scott, the first woman hanged in the Colony of Victoria



11th April, 1863. A shot at midnight cracks the frosted dark. Bob Scott is dead.


Betsy Luckett must decide if she will marry the smirking but dashing Bob Scott, boundary rider at Goomalibee Station. She’s thirteen. He’s thirty-five.


Mother always expects her daughters to do their duty. So Betsy does what Mother wants; she marries him and becomes Elizabeth Scott.


Ten years later, Elizabeth Scott is still doing her duty. Only this time it’s Bob who’s calling the shots. He wants his illicit grog shanty to be a success, and a beautiful and welcoming young wife is sure to attract the rowdy miners of the Jamieson goldfields.


The shanty thrives, but Bob drinks away far too much of the profits. His alcohol-fuelled temper grows savage.


The cook, an illiterate ex-pirate, takes his mistress’s part against the boss. And then there’s the young groom. He doesn’t like the way Bob parades Elizabeth in front of the shanty customers.


Who fired the fatal shot?


Elizabeth Scott -  black-hearted adultress or unguarded victim?






‘Ye will answer at the dreadful day of judgment, when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed.’

Book of Common Prayer


The Shanty Keeper's Wife  -  coming soon