This is the true crime account of Eugenia Falleni, a woman who in 1920 was charged with the murder of her wife. Eugenia had lived in Australia for twenty-two years as a man and during that time officially married twice. She lived a full married life with her first wife, Annie, for four years before Annie realised that her husband was a woman. Even after Annie knew, they lived together for eight months before they went on a bush picnic, when Annie mysteriously died. Her body was not identified for almost three years, and during this time Eugenia married again, this time to Lizzie. When Eugenia was finally arrested and charged with Annie's murder, the police attempted to tell Lizzie that her husband was a woman. She laughed at them - she was so convinced that her husband was a man that she thought she was pregnant to him.
This is the story of one of the most extraordinary criminal trials in legal history anywhere in the world. The book traces Eugenia's history: from her early years in an Italian immigrant family in New Zealand, to her brutal treatment when she first tried living as a man. The story then follows the twenty-two years that she lived in Sydney as Harry Crawford - exploring how Harry managed to convince two wives that he was a man. The trial of Eugenia Falleni for Annie's murder is extensively analysed in a clear and easily understood way by the author, Senior Crown Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi QC, one of Australia's foremost criminal law barristers.
About the Author
Mark Tedeschi QC obtained his MA in London. He is the Senior Crown Prosecutor for New South Wales and has been a barrister for 35 years dealing with such cases as Ivan Millat (the backpacker murderer) and Neddy Smith. He has been a Queen's Counsel since 1988. He is an avid exhibiting photographer and a member of the Board of the National Art School in Sydney. This is his first venture into true crime. Tedeschi has also written a photography book Shooting Around Corners.
BOOKTOPIA INTERVIEW: MARK TEDESCHI QC ANSWERS BOOKTOPIA'S TEN TERRIFYING QUESTIONS - CLICK HERE
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No matter where you come from in this world, this book will move you. Mark Tedeschi QC's offers balanced and fair judgement of the original players in this true crime and faithfully (as possible) reconstructed the tragic events of Eugenia Falleni life.
Tedeschi brings the era alive with brilliant execution. I had to keep reminding myself that this was not a novel, but someone's life. This book doesn't use too much legal jargon. When necessary, the jargon is well explained without going on. I don't have a legal background and feel confident that I understood the legal side.
This book is going to get you thinking. It's relevancy to current social attitudes towards sexuality, in my opinion, makes it all the more engaging.
Further, you don't need to have an interest in Australian history, Australian crime, or even non-fiction, this book will suck you in.
5 stars of awesome from me.
Prompt delivery and dispatch of book
This is a truly fascinating story, quite unbelievable in fact. You get the whole story of Eugenia very early, then it goes on with a full account of the legalities ( what you would expect from Tedeschi). I found the books flow a little odd, but enjoyed it nonetheless. Definitely recommend to history buffs and non- fiction fans.
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 1st May 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.9
Weight (kg): 0.31