Author(s): Suzanne Falkiner
In the spring of 1917 an apprentice from the Cumberland Paper Mills, just outside Sydney, was walking along a bush track beside the Lane Cove River when he discovered the partially burnt body of an unidentified woman. The arrest three years later of a 45-year-old Italian, Eugenia Falleni, for murder, led to an investigation that fascinated Australia. Known in the newspapers as the 'Man-Woman Case', the trial revealed that from the time she had left New Zealand and gone to sea as a cabin boy, Eugenia Falleni had lived at least twenty years of her life in the guise of a man. Suzanne Falkiner has written a remarkable story that follows the course of her own efforts to accurately reconstruct Eugenia's extraordinary life, and provides an intriguing account of her subsequent trial.