Eugenia – a modern classic

In real life, Senior Crown Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi QC successfully prosecuted one of Australia’s most unusual cases, that of Keli Lane. Before killing one of her children, she’d successfully hidden several pregnancies from those around her, including her water polo team and in one instance her lover.

In this book, author Mark Tedeschi writes about an even more unusual story. Eugenia Falleni was a woman who lived as a man and twice married other women, fooling her wives (or “wives”) by the use, under cover of darkness and the widespread sexual ignorance of the time, of a strap-on dildo later referred to publicly as the “article”.

Eventually, her first wife came to realise the truth and was killed, possibly by Falleni, who was convicted of the murder and spent many years in prison. Following her release, she ran a boarding house in Sydney.

Tedeschi’s account is compelling, and includes several passages where he seeks to make sense of unknown elements of the story by reconstructing conversations and scenes. The result is one of the strangest stories from Australian history.

 

Mark Tedeschi QC
Mark Tedeschi QC

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