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Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on May 6, 2013
A remarkable true story. The author, a former chief editor of the BBC World News, is doing family history research when he stumbles across the story of his Great Aunt Florrie Cox. Florrie was the wife of an Australian Baptist missionary in India in the second decade of the 20th century. Richardson discovers that Florrie's marriage was annulled in the Melbourne Supreme Court and the book is the account of the author's ten years of painstaking research to find out why. He discovers great secrecy surrounding what happened - the Supreme Court judge ruling that the file should be "closed for all time" and the Church itself going to extraordinary lengths to cover up the truth. Richardson eventually uncovers some of the truth, a truth that demonstrates how one person's life was ruined by the repressive, moralistic attitudes of the Church (and much of society in general) of the time regarding sexual matters. Florrie was a victim - victim of a sad aberration of nature, sexual mores of the time and the Church's entirely selfish desire to cover up the truth at all costs. This story has much relevance today (the Roman Catholic Church's cover up of child sexual abuse by the clergy). Unfortunately, when the book was published Richardson had not been able to answer all the questions surrounding the case. I have been advised by the author that since publication more evidence has come to light which provides more answers and that, consequently, he is soon to publish a second edition that includes this additional information. Nevertheless, even the first edition should be a must read for those interested in social history.
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