ElizaEliza. Malice, Corruption and Mrs Tracey’s Case.

Rod Moncrieff.

ISBN 978-1-875778-14-0, 110 pages, A4, Illustrated, 350 grams, $35.00*

This lively and detailed biography of one of Western Australia’s most colourful identities covers the time of her arrival in the Swan River Colony in 1859, until her death in 1917. It documents the life and times of an aggrieved woman in her self-proclaimed quest for fair play, equity and justice.

Eliza Tracey revelled in numerous appearances before an assortment of audiences – from the riverside Esplanade to the stage of the Perth Town Hall; from soapboxes in the metropolis to platforms out in the backblocks; and, most memorable of all, the various inferior and superior courts of Western Australia which she graced over a lifetime of litigation. Along the way she was imprisoned, then hospitalised, and her case was investigated by two parliamentary Select Committees.

Over a controversial and event-filled life, Eliza Tracey never took a backward step. She was unafraid to spruik her views on suffragettes and the franchise for women, prostitution and the red-light district on Roe Street, political interference and the Federation issue. However, she reserved her spiciest vitriol for the burgeoning list of magistrates, judges and lawyers who, she believed, had connived to rob her by malice and corruption in her “fight for right against might”.