In the second half of the 19th century, a number of women, sponsored by the Female Middle Class Emigration Society, left Britain to seek a better life in the colonies. Unmarried and unemployed, they were among the many educated genteel women who were endeavouring to find work as governesses, then one of the few occupations open to them. In letters back to the Society, these women reported back on life as they saw it in the colonies during the years 1862-1882. They tell of their travails; of their adjustments to strange and often hostile environments; of their loneliness; their failures and their successes. They also give fresh views on colnoials and conlonial society.