Author(s): Freda Marnie Nicholls
Ethel Livesey was quite a gal.
An attractive young woman from a respectable middle-class family in Manchester, she had over 40 aliases, eight official marriages, four children and five divorces. Her story stretches from industrial England to the French Riviera, from Ireland to New York, Shanghai, New Zealand, the Isle of Man and across Australia. Ethel claimed she was a cotton heiress, wartime nurse, casino hostess, stowaway, artist, opera singer, gambler, spy, close friend of the King, air raid warden, charity queen and even wife of Australian test cricketer Jack Fingleton.
When her career imploded (with the abandonment of her glittering society marriage in post-war Sydney just two hours before the guests were due to arrive), the story of the Amazing Mrs Livesey was blazoned across newspapers around the world. But what was fact and what was fiction?
With a prologue by Ethel Livesey's granddaughter, this extraordinary and constantly surprising story of the woman who was possibly Australia's greatest fraudster is told for the first time in rich and fascinating detail.
Luita Frances Aichinger is Ethel Livesey's granddaughter and has her father's tapes and transcripts recording his mother's remarkable life. Freda Marnie Nicholls lives and works on her husband's family farm in Gundagai in southern New South Wales and has worked as a rural journalist for fourteen years. She has had the pleasure of interviewing many interesting people in her career and believes that everyone has a story.
Prologue..1 Miss Swindells..2 Mrs Carter..3 Mrs Taylor..4 Mrs Smith..5 Mrs Ward..6 Mrs Lee..7 Mrs Spurgess..8 Mrs Giblett..9 Mrs Hourn..10 Mrs Anderson..11 Mrs Baker..12 Mrs Thompson Gloria Grey..13 Mrs Gardiner..14 The Drapery Affair Nurse Florence Anderson..15 Miss Hordern..16 Mrs Ann Derson..17 Miss Turner..18 Lady Betty Balfour..19 Miss Harvey..20 Mrs Coradine..21 Mrs Livesey..22 The Falcon Cliff Hotel..23 Ivydene..24 Fortune Taken to Australia..25 Mr Beech The Wedding of the Century..26 Police Want to Question Heiress..27 Society Woman Arrested!..28 Mrs Livesey Missing..29 Mrs Percy..30 Up on the Big Screen..31 Thousands Wait to See Mrs Livesey..32 Going for Broke..33 Mrs Livesey Again Missing..34 Where Did All the Money Go?..35 Going After the Lawyers..36 The Crocodile-Skin Case..37 Mrs Livesey Explains..38 Mrs Nan Glover..39 Mrs Ethel Nelson..Aftermath..Author's Note and Acknowledgments