Sarah Heckford, born a Victorian lady in 1839, defied convention. Despite disability and the confines of upper-class expectations, she broke all boundaries; first to volunteer at a cholera hospital; then to start a children's hospital in London's East End with her husband. Newly widowed, she left first for Italy and India, and then for South Africa. Arriving at Durban in 1878, Sarah set out for the Transvaal. Here she became a governess and then a farmer; later she became a transport-rider, trading goods with hunters and miners in the Lowveld. She made a life for herself in Africa despite considerable drawbacks, all the while trying to find ways of bettering the lives of those around her.