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Issue Details: First known date: 2018... 2018 A Scandal in Bohemia : The Life and Death of Mollie Dean
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'As enigmatic in life as in death, Mollie Dean was a woman determined to transcend. Creatively ambitious and sexually precocious, at twenty-five she was a poet, aspiring novelist and muse on the peripheries of Melbourne’s bohemian salons – until one night in 1930 she was brutally slain by an unknown killer in a laneway while walking home.

'Her family was implicated. Those in her circle, including her acclaimed artist lover Colin Colahan, were shamed. Her memory was anxiously suppressed. Yet the mystery of her death rendered more mysterious her life and Mollie’s story lingered, incorporated into memoir, literature, television, theatre and song, most notably in George Johnston’s classic My Brother Jack.

'In A Scandal in Bohemia, Gideon Haigh explodes the true crime genre with a murder story about life as well as death. Armed with only a single photograph and echoes of Mollie’s voice, he has reassembled the precarious life of a talented woman without a room of her own – a true outsider, excluded by the very world that celebrated her in its art. In this work of restorative justice, Mollie Dean emerges as a tenacious, charismatic, independent woman for whom society had no place, and whom everybody tried to forget – but nobody could.'  (Publication summary)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Penguin , 2018 .
      image of person or book cover 6431735804522967933.jpg
      Cover image courtesy of publisher.
      Extent: 320p.
      Note/s:
      • Published: 2nd April 2018

      ISBN: 9780143789574

Works about this Work

Gideon Haigh : A Scandal in Bohemia LS , single work column

'In 1930-31, the worthy citizens of Melbourne were gripped by a brutal and depraved unsolved murder that filled the tabloids. Mollie Dean, a 25-year-old special education teacher, was sexually assaulted and killed in an Elwood laneway on her way home after an evening at the theatre with friends. Dean was sexy, beautiful and ambitious; a poet, aspiring novelist and artists’ model, and a mistress of Colin Colahan, a prominent Melbourne painter. In this latest addition to his true crime oeuvre, Melbourne journalist and polymath Gideon Haigh attempts to uncover Dean’s life as well as her death.' (Introduction)

Humanising a Cold Case Victim – Writing the Life and Brutal Death of Mollie Dean Donna Lee Brien , 2019 single work column
— Appears in: The Conversation , 30 May 2019;

'Two Australian books were published last year about a brutal murder that happened in Melbourne in 1930: the non-fiction A Scandal in Bohemia: The Life and Death of Mollie Dean by Gideon Haigh, and The Portrait of Molly Dean, Katherine Kovacic’s first novel.' (Introduction)

Gideon Haigh : A Scandal in Bohemia : The Life and Death of Mollie Dean Jeannette Delamoir , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: The Newtown Review of Books , August 2018;

'In exploring the death – and life – of Mollie Dean, Gideon Haigh covers a lot of fascinating ground. '

Gideon Haigh A Scandal in Bohemia LS , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 7-13 April 2018;

'In 1930-31, the worthy citizens of Melbourne were gripped by a brutal and depraved unsolved murder that filled the tabloids. Mollie Dean, a 25-year-old special education teacher, was sexually assaulted and killed in an Elwood laneway on her way home after an evening at the theatre with friends. Dean was sexy, beautiful and ambitious; a poet, aspiring novelist and artists’ model, and a mistress of Colin Colahan, a prominent Melbourne painter. In this latest addition to his true crime oeuvre, Melbourne journalist and polymath Gideon Haigh attempts to uncover Dean’s life as well as her death.' (Introduction)

Mollie's Story Anna MacDonald , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , April no. 400 2018; (p. 42)

'A Scandal in Bohemia: The life and death of Mollie Dean is Gideon Haigh’s engrossing account of the circumstances surrounding the unsolved 1930 murder in Elwood of primary school teacher, aspiring journalist, and bohemian, Mollie Dean. Less true crime journalism than an interrogation of the genre, Haigh’s meticulously researched book recalls the ‘thick description’ of cultural history, which in historian Greg Dening’s words conveys ‘the fullness of living’ at a particular time, in a particular place. In this instance, the time and place are Melbourne in the 1920s and 1930s and, more specifically, the ‘virtual Melbourne Bloomsbury’ (as it is described by biographer and memoirist Gary Kinnane) of the group of artists, writers, musicians, and intellectuals with whom Mollie Dean became entangled. This group included chief conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Fritz Hart, The Bulletin’s Mervyn Skipper and his wife, Lena, poets Louis Lavater and Frank Wilmot, writers Bernard Cronin and Vance and Nettie Palmer, and artists Max Meldrum, Clarice Beckett, Justus Jorgensen, and Colin Colahan among others.' (Introduction)

Mollie's Story Anna MacDonald , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , April no. 400 2018; (p. 42)

'A Scandal in Bohemia: The life and death of Mollie Dean is Gideon Haigh’s engrossing account of the circumstances surrounding the unsolved 1930 murder in Elwood of primary school teacher, aspiring journalist, and bohemian, Mollie Dean. Less true crime journalism than an interrogation of the genre, Haigh’s meticulously researched book recalls the ‘thick description’ of cultural history, which in historian Greg Dening’s words conveys ‘the fullness of living’ at a particular time, in a particular place. In this instance, the time and place are Melbourne in the 1920s and 1930s and, more specifically, the ‘virtual Melbourne Bloomsbury’ (as it is described by biographer and memoirist Gary Kinnane) of the group of artists, writers, musicians, and intellectuals with whom Mollie Dean became entangled. This group included chief conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Fritz Hart, The Bulletin’s Mervyn Skipper and his wife, Lena, poets Louis Lavater and Frank Wilmot, writers Bernard Cronin and Vance and Nettie Palmer, and artists Max Meldrum, Clarice Beckett, Justus Jorgensen, and Colin Colahan among others.' (Introduction)

Gideon Haigh : A Scandal in Bohemia LS , single work column

'In 1930-31, the worthy citizens of Melbourne were gripped by a brutal and depraved unsolved murder that filled the tabloids. Mollie Dean, a 25-year-old special education teacher, was sexually assaulted and killed in an Elwood laneway on her way home after an evening at the theatre with friends. Dean was sexy, beautiful and ambitious; a poet, aspiring novelist and artists’ model, and a mistress of Colin Colahan, a prominent Melbourne painter. In this latest addition to his true crime oeuvre, Melbourne journalist and polymath Gideon Haigh attempts to uncover Dean’s life as well as her death.' (Introduction)

Gideon Haigh A Scandal in Bohemia LS , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 7-13 April 2018;

'In 1930-31, the worthy citizens of Melbourne were gripped by a brutal and depraved unsolved murder that filled the tabloids. Mollie Dean, a 25-year-old special education teacher, was sexually assaulted and killed in an Elwood laneway on her way home after an evening at the theatre with friends. Dean was sexy, beautiful and ambitious; a poet, aspiring novelist and artists’ model, and a mistress of Colin Colahan, a prominent Melbourne painter. In this latest addition to his true crime oeuvre, Melbourne journalist and polymath Gideon Haigh attempts to uncover Dean’s life as well as her death.' (Introduction)

Gideon Haigh : A Scandal in Bohemia : The Life and Death of Mollie Dean Jeannette Delamoir , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: The Newtown Review of Books , August 2018;

'In exploring the death – and life – of Mollie Dean, Gideon Haigh covers a lot of fascinating ground. '

Humanising a Cold Case Victim – Writing the Life and Brutal Death of Mollie Dean Donna Lee Brien , 2019 single work column
— Appears in: The Conversation , 30 May 2019;

'Two Australian books were published last year about a brutal murder that happened in Melbourne in 1930: the non-fiction A Scandal in Bohemia: The Life and Death of Mollie Dean by Gideon Haigh, and The Portrait of Molly Dean, Katherine Kovacic’s first novel.' (Introduction)

Last amended 4 Dec 2018 15:44:42
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