The Amazing Mrs. Livesey
Allen & Unwin $29.99 pb, 320 pp, 9781760290146
Ethel Livesey was a piece of work. By the time she stood trial in 1946, she had already served several terms in prison. The serial fraudster had accumulated more than forty aliases, married eight times (twice bigamously), borne four children to different men, and divorced four times. She fleeced shopkeepers, business owners, society élite – and her husbands – during a spectacular career as a silver-tongued swindler. And the press lapped it up: the scandalous Livesey affair made the Australian headlines for nearly a year.