Lillias Hepburn’s life spanned ninety-six years from 1817 until 1913. It was a full life with more than its fair share of ups and downs. But there is more to Lillias’s story than simply the details of her own life, for her very existence was due to a strange combination of events. The only clue to these events was contained in a preamble which her father, Robert Hepburn, wrote to his will.
The Preamble to the will of Captain Robert Hepburn RN (1782-1866)
This is the last Will and Testament of me Robert Hepburn of Roy’s Hill in the District of Fingal in Tasmania Esquire (Lineal descendant by my father Captain Hepburn of the family of Hepburn of Keith East Lothian Scotland, and by my mother Mary Ann Roy, great grandson of Rob Roy McGregor, and by my grandmother Isabella Princess of Diabenti, daughter of the King of the Koromantic Nation of the Gold Coast of Africa I am Prince of Diabenti Lineal descendant of the King of that nation in Africa.)
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For the historical details of Lillias’s life and the lives of the other people featured in the story I have used information available online and in historical documents. The rest is conjecture. It is a story, not a historical document.
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I want to thank Joanne McShane for this beautifully written escape into another era. A breath of fresh air from our current pandemic reality. This book was masterfully written and researched. The author's talent proved itself by the hold and engagement it took of my mind, while making me feel as if I were right there, witnessing the story and experiencing the events. Wonderful way to hit the pause button in this nutty reality we're all sharing. Thank you, beautiful Joanne. You're a true gift.
Loved the book. Humanity depicted as it should be lived. All its diamonds and warts on show. Power, fear, compassion and abiding love and trust. Wonderful research and engaging writing. Thank you, Joanne.
Reviewed on Amazon Australia on 23 November 2020
I found this historical novel very difficult to put down, I became totally engrossed with the lives of our family ancestors. Joanne McShane’s research has once again produced amazing results, and her interpretation of the day to day lives of all these characters, who together form our family tree, gives the reader a wonderful grasp of how their achievements and failures have influenced the lives their descendants.
★★★★★ Lidwina Taylor, 25 May 2021
I really enjoyed reading “Lillias”. The characters were very real and engaging.
It gave such a vivid insight into the migration stories of people from Ireland, England, Africa, and Jamaica who ended up in Tasmania Australia.
★★★★★ EmJay, 24 May 2021
Loved the putting some flesh on the bones of my ancestral relations both Wood and McShane.
Thank you for your wonderful work