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Issue Details: First known date: 2010... 2010 Murdering Stepmothers : The Execution of Martha Rendell
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Sensational rumours of the murder of three small children by their stepmother ignite the passions of Perth citizens in 1909.

Shocked by horrific descriptions of how she poisoned the children, they demand her execution as one voice. But did she do it? Or was she a victim of the prejudices of her persecutors?

Anna Haebich brings to life the people of Perth and the entangled mesh of self-righteous bigotry, slander and unbridled revenge they invoke to propel the trial of Martha Rendell to its inevitable end.

We see the accused woman's downward spiral from her dreams of a new beginning with her lover to a life of domestic drudgery and deceits; then her final days on the edge of the abyss - becoming the last woman in the state to be hanged.

Based on a true story and meticulously researched, this compelling novel is driven by passion, imagination and an eerie conjuring up of the past.' (From the publisher's website.)

Notes

  • Dedication: For Ruth
  • Other formats: Also sound recording.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Crawley, Inner Perth, Perth, Western Australia,: UWA Publishing , 2010 .
      Extent: 224p.
      Description: illus., ports
      ISBN: 9781921401459

Works about this Work

Somewhere between Fiction and Non-fiction: New Approaches to Writing Crime Histories Anna Haebich , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT Special Issue Website Series , April no. 28 2015;
'This paper explores innovative ways of writing across the borders between fiction and non-fiction in crime histories and examines how crime sources can actively encourage writing that is imaginative, subjective and ambiguous. Drawing on recent historiographic critiques of the archive, the paper argues that the constructedness of archival crime sources and close responsive reading and interpretation of these sources can validate, even demand, of historians the use of nuanced fictive writing practices that eloquently express the complexity of the crimes, the killers, the victims, the societies that created them and the intricacies and truths of the sources that contained them. As well as iconic examples from the literature, the paper examines my own research and writing about two very different murder trials from Perth, Western Australia, one already published, the other a work in progress. The trials of Martha Rendell and Audrey Jacob bookend sixteen years of Perth history from 1909 to 1925 when expectations and representations of women’s gender roles in Perth changed dramatically, producing very different outcomes for the women. The archival sources for each case determine the contrastive structures and styles for developing the resulting works of scholarly crime prose fiction.' (Publication abstract)
The Murdering Stepmother in All of Us Alison Singer , 2012 single work review
— Appears in: Antipodes , December vol. 26 no. 2 2012; (p. 276-277)

— Review of Murdering Stepmothers : The Execution of Martha Rendell Anna Haebich , 2010 single work biography
History as Detective Fiction Amanda Kaladelfos , 2011 single work review
— Appears in: History Australia , vol. 8 no. 2 2011;

— Review of Murdering Stepmothers : The Execution of Martha Rendell Anna Haebich , 2010 single work biography
Untitled Katherine Biber , 2011 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Feminist Studies , December vol. 26 no. 70 2011; (p. 509-511)

— Review of Murdering Stepmothers : The Execution of Martha Rendell Anna Haebich , 2010 single work biography
Executing Justice Belinda Morrissey , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Women's Book Review , vol. 22 no. 2 2010;

— Review of Murdering Stepmothers : The Execution of Martha Rendell Anna Haebich , 2010 single work biography
Untitled Deborah Crabtree , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , May/June vol. 89 no. 8 2010; (p. 37)

— Review of Murdering Stepmothers : The Execution of Martha Rendell Anna Haebich , 2010 single work biography
Untitled Rhonda Cotsell , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: Incite , July vol. 31 no. 7 2010; (p. 20)

— Review of Murdering Stepmothers : The Execution of Martha Rendell Anna Haebich , 2010 single work biography
Executing Justice Belinda Morrissey , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Women's Book Review , vol. 22 no. 2 2010;

— Review of Murdering Stepmothers : The Execution of Martha Rendell Anna Haebich , 2010 single work biography
Untitled Katherine Biber , 2011 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Feminist Studies , December vol. 26 no. 70 2011; (p. 509-511)

— Review of Murdering Stepmothers : The Execution of Martha Rendell Anna Haebich , 2010 single work biography
History as Detective Fiction Amanda Kaladelfos , 2011 single work review
— Appears in: History Australia , vol. 8 no. 2 2011;

— Review of Murdering Stepmothers : The Execution of Martha Rendell Anna Haebich , 2010 single work biography
Somewhere between Fiction and Non-fiction: New Approaches to Writing Crime Histories Anna Haebich , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT Special Issue Website Series , April no. 28 2015;
'This paper explores innovative ways of writing across the borders between fiction and non-fiction in crime histories and examines how crime sources can actively encourage writing that is imaginative, subjective and ambiguous. Drawing on recent historiographic critiques of the archive, the paper argues that the constructedness of archival crime sources and close responsive reading and interpretation of these sources can validate, even demand, of historians the use of nuanced fictive writing practices that eloquently express the complexity of the crimes, the killers, the victims, the societies that created them and the intricacies and truths of the sources that contained them. As well as iconic examples from the literature, the paper examines my own research and writing about two very different murder trials from Perth, Western Australia, one already published, the other a work in progress. The trials of Martha Rendell and Audrey Jacob bookend sixteen years of Perth history from 1909 to 1925 when expectations and representations of women’s gender roles in Perth changed dramatically, producing very different outcomes for the women. The archival sources for each case determine the contrastive structures and styles for developing the resulting works of scholarly crime prose fiction.' (Publication abstract)
Last amended 1 Nov 2011 16:42:45
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