I am seeking representation for A Woman Transported, a historical [historical what? novel?] set between London and Australia in the early 1800s. The story is complete at 100,000 words.
A Woman Transported is a tale of pain, struggle, deceit, and ultimately love — and one woman’s fight to find her mother transported across the oceans to Botany Bay — a hell on earth where even the kookaburras mock the convicts with laughter. [This last bit may appeal to overseas readers but would strike a false note with Australians, because we know that kookaburras only laugh at impending rain and the small warm-blooded animals they're about to tear apart.]
London, 1814 – Isabel [who is Isabel? How old is she? Is she a convict?] imagines the land the floating convict prison hulks are destined for, the prison on the other side of the world, but all she can vision is a grey, damp, wet, overcrowded land full of decrepit buildings — a land of evil, depraved people, and the horror her convict mother must be living in Australia. [This para is a bit heavy - try reworking it.]
Isabel, the daughter of a candle and soap maker, [Ah, so this is who she is - why couldn't you tell us in the para above?] dreams of seeing her mother again and escaping the rabbit warrens where even the light seems oppressive. Using a determination known by those who have suffered deeply she overcomes poverty, evades brutal men and fights against an unjust system of justice. She makes her way to Australia, finds her mother near death in the sunburnt land and much more than she expects or is prepared for.
I’m an Australian woman and Isabel’s story comes from my life-long fascination with not only the fragility of human nature, but also the period when around 162,000 men and women were transported to Australia between 1788 and 1868. [Fair enough, but as it's historical you should mention any research you've done. Also, be aware that your competitor title in this vein is the legendary Sara Dane so you need to be able to match that story's appeal and sweep.]
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Overall: this letter, while containing a lot of the right information, feels a bit tentative and stiff. You should write it as if you're telling it to someone and let the spoken tone guide you. Agents and publishers see hundreds of query letters a year and anything that seems too formal is going to just seem like the other letters, so you need to stand out - don't be afraid to start pitching straightaway and convey how much you love your story, or have loved writing it. Passion goes a long way in impressing others.