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The Queen of Whale Cay: The Eccentric Story of 'Joe' Carstairs, Fastest Woman on Water #2019

The Queen of Whale Cay The Eccentric Story of Joe Carstairs Fastest Woman on Water When Marion Joe Carstairs died in at the age of ninety three she was largely forgotten During the s she held the world record as the fastest female speedboat racer But as journalist Kate Sum

  • Title: The Queen of Whale Cay: The Eccentric Story of 'Joe' Carstairs, Fastest Woman on Water
  • Author: Kate Summerscale Joe Carstairs
  • ISBN: 9780140276138
  • Page: 262
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Queen of Whale Cay: The Eccentric Story of 'Joe' Carstairs, Fastest Woman on Water By Kate Summerscale Joe Carstairs, When Marion Joe Carstairs died in 1993 at the age of ninety three, she was largely forgotten During the 1920s she held the world record as the fastest female speedboat racer But as journalist Kate Summerscale discovered, when researching an obituary for the Daily Telegraph, Carstairs was also a notorious crossdresser who favored women and smoked cheroots Supremely selWhen Marion Joe Carstairs died in 1993 at the age of ninety three, she was largely forgotten During the 1920s she held the world record as the fastest female speedboat racer But as journalist Kate Summerscale discovered, when researching an obituary for the Daily Telegraph, Carstairs was also a notorious crossdresser who favored women and smoked cheroots Supremely self confident, she inherited a Standard Oil fortune and knew how to spend her money on fast boats and cars on her female lovers, and on a Caribbean Island Whale Cay, where she reigned over a colony of Bahamians There, far from her bohemian past in London and Paris, Carstairs hosted a succession of girlfriends and celebrities, including Marlene Dietrich and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor Through it all, she remained devoted to Lord Todd Wadley, a little doll who was her bosom companion until the very end.

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      Published :2019-09-04T10:56:30+00:00

    1 thought on “The Queen of Whale Cay: The Eccentric Story of 'Joe' Carstairs, Fastest Woman on Water

    1. I started reading this because of the jacket blurb At first it was just a description of an interesting memoir, the life story of a person who was the 1920 s fastest female speedboat racer and eventually ruled her own island in the Bahamas, only to be forgotten in her old age But here s the last sentence Through it all, she remained devoted to Lord Tod Wadley, a little doll who became the bosom companion of one of the twentieth century s great eccentrics Doll, I said Did I read that right Yes, y [...]

    2. I saw this slim volume in the store and was fascinated by the picture on the cover a woman dressed as a man with a little battered doll on her shoulder what in the world is this So, I started to read What a surprise This is the story of Marion Joe Carstairs, a Standard Oil heiress, a champion speed boat driver, friend to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, an unrepentant lesbian, owner of the Caribbean isalnd Whale Cay, and the constant companion of Lord Todd Wadley yes, a funny little doll This is [...]

    3. This was one of those great finds that I sometimes unearth at the dollar store the story of Joe Carstairs, a wealthy transgender who became famous for racing speedboats and later, buying her own private island in the Bahamas where she constructed her own society living openly with other women.What would have been regarded at the time as both deviant and illegal, was for Carstiars regarded merely as eccentric Money talks.

    4. First, HOW WAS JOE CARSTAIRS NOT ON MY RADAR BEFORE NOW I mean, what a life From the literary salons of Paris, to the Bright Young People s parties in London, to grand adventures and love affairs with movies stars on a private island the life of Joe Carstairs was that most wonderful of cliche s stranger than fiction Don t even get me started on Lord Tod Wadley You cannot make this stuff up Even before I finished the book, I d added Joe to my list of five people, dead or alive, that I d want to i [...]

    5. Summerscale has a knack for picking peculiar subjects and Joe Carstairs is no different The portrait she paints of Carstairs is of a complex woman with so many faces the racer, the pirate, the lover that it s difficult to keep track For everything to like about Carstairs, though, there s something to balance it out Her selfishness, for instance, never dims Her peculiarities were only tolerated because of her wealth at least in traditional society Her obsession with a doll that lasted for many ye [...]

    6. I greatly enjoyed the story of this woman s interesting and entirely bizarre life I picked it up for a dollar at a library booksale just to see if it was good, and I am glad I came across it I do think that it could have been better organized and edited, and I agree with other reviewers that some of the author s attempts to guess at Joe s motivations and true feelings were unfounded and weird And I really did not understand why she drew parallels with Peter Pan But overall, this was an enjoyable [...]

    7. I liked the subject of this biography so much that I was almost able to ignore the writing It was patchy, jumpy, and odd There were bits that made me roll my eyes, and bits that made me hiss mostly assumptions on the part of the author I d like to read an in depth biography of Carstairs by a genuine biographer rather than an obituary writer, I think, but I m glad I read this one.

    8. There is nothing inherently wrong with this book about a 1930s era billionaire who raced boats, dressed like a man, played with dolls, and then bought herself an island, I m just not sure why she merited her own biography She got my fifteen minutes of attention or four hours of reading.

    9. Interesting, I doubt I d have liked Joe Carstairs if I d have met her but its always good to be reminded that there was a lesbian subculture back in the 1920s albeit a rich white one as least as far as the books show Other than that its a testament to the life of a person with tons of money and some odd ideas On the other hand there is something admirable about someone who so resolutely ignores all the conventions and does their own thing In that context it is also interesting to note how societ [...]

    10. I loved this book What an incredible character Carstairs was speed racer on sea and land, self styled pirate, hunter, womaniser, benevolent dictator mostly of her own island kingdom, trickster and loyal supporter of those she felt had supported her I like to think I d love to have met her, but in truth she d probably have frightened the pants off me Summerscale paints a vivid portrait of an eccentric and complicated woman, who invented and reinvented her persona and in part lived vicariously thr [...]

    11. This was filled with all of the small details and strange quirks that can really place you on the margins of someone else s life What I remember most clearly was the passion, loss, and drama that defined Joe s war years and carousing 20s The 30s continued to compel with a certain charm and drama, but the remainder of the book was a sad slide away from all that possibility into a bizarre colonialism in miniature and a decent into irrelevance.

    12. Written in the tradition of stories about the lives of adventurous, nonconforming women such as Beryl Markham, this book never quite gives a real sense of the appeal of the eccentric, cross dressing Joe Carstairs other than her money , but it does leave the reader shaking her head over her antics.

    13. There is no better way to describe this novel than truth really is stranger than fiction In fact I m going to follow Margot from Project Lectito and say after reading this biography Joe Carstairs would most definitely be one of the five people dead or alive I would want to have dinner with If, like I was, you are completely unaware who Joe Carstairs is firstly she was the fasted woman on the water in the 1920 s Born to an American oil heiress and a British army caption, Joe was born Marion Barba [...]

    14. For a queer analysis one cannot help but find Summerscale s delivery and frame of reference anything but problematic.

    15. Fantastic What an amazing retelling of an amazing life I agree with Joe her life SHOULD be turned into a movie

    16. The English excel at the nurturing and cultivation of eccentrics From ferret legging to innkeepers who charge extra to those whose faces he didn t care for there s an eccentric for every taste from the land of Shakespeare I think Will S would have enjoyed the subject of Kate Summerscale s ode to eccentricity Marion Barbara Joe Carstairs what with the tropical islands, cross dressing, vague paternity and feats of derring do, how could he not Joe, The Queen of Whale Cay, demonstrated that with eno [...]

    17. I d been thinking of re reading this book for a while, because the story had stayed in my mind for so long after my original read through This slim biography is a testament to the idea that it s not just the lives of great people that deserve to be written up Joe Carstairs had an utterly fascinating life holder of the all comers water speed record, heiress, cross dressing lesbian, Queen of a Bahamian island, whose best friend was a 13 high doll called Lord Todd Wadley.Emotionally abandoned by bo [...]

    18. On my nightstand I have just finished reading Kate Summerscale s biography of Joe Carstairs, The Queen of Whale Cay The Eccentric Story of Joe Carstairs, Fastest Woman on Water London Penguin Books, 1999 While not one of the best written biographies, the subject Joe Carstairs than makes up for the less than stellar writing Carstairs story is fascinating as she lived a life that few people could manage in the twentieth century Carstairs, lived her life on her own masculine terms driving ambulanc [...]

    19. Well written brief bio of a seemingly completely insipid person Carstairs was, in the telling, not a wholly uninteresting subject, just an altogether insubstantial one I m not sure could have been extracted from the surviving record The author does an admirable job of reconstruction But while there s much of interest in the broader historical background of the book, and in its gender theoretical aspects, there s little to amuse, entertain, or inspire in Carstairs personal story She was a wealth [...]

    20. I first came across the intriguing story of the eccentric Joe Carstairs her Steiff made Lord Tod Wadley her talismanic doll miniature alter ego years ago in a Vanity Fair article it made such an impression that it has never escaped me It turns out that that very same VF article had been excerpted from Ms Summerscale s book, The Queen of Whale Cay Now, many years later, having luckily come across a volume of The Queen of Whale Cay, the full tale adventures of Joe Wadley has proven to be even cap [...]

    21. ohmiGOd, you hAVE to find this book and read it this book is truly bizarre and awesome it chronicles the true story of this wealthy butch lesbian who sailed boats in the earlier part of the 1900s, bought her own island to live on and was a total womanizer, but here s the best part her companion for life was this weird little doll she named Lord Todd Wadley who she dressed in crazy outfits and did like, glamour shots with she was obsessed with this doll and you re never quite sure if she went thr [...]

    22. I got this book on clearance because it was a penguin book and, therefore, would look cute on my shelf and because of the odd photo on the front Who knows why I picked it up to read one day, but it was a very interesting account of a decisively odd character I d never heard of Joe Carstairs, but I enjoyed the brief romp through her colorful life especially the accounts of her many interesting friendships with others living on the fringe of society in the early 20th century This book has inspired [...]

    23. This was a very slim biography of a woman doomed to obscurity At best, Joe Carstairs could be described as an eccentric Sparked by an obituary, Summerscale attempts to tease out the life story of a woman who was briefly hailed in the early part of the 20th century as The fastest woman on water Parts of the book are best taken with a whole shaker of salt since Carstairs by the author s and her own admission embellished, misremembered and sometimes outright lied Because there was so little documen [...]

    24. What a bizarre gem of a book I can t recall when or where I first heard of Joe Carstairs probably in one of my many, many 1920s biogs but this book has been on my reading lost ever since And it didn t disappoint The story is completely mad and entirely fascinating.Although Joe did lots of amazing things and seemed to be a kind, generous and living friend, she did strike me as rather irritating just as Peter Pan, who she is routinely compared to, always did The book isn t spectacularly well writt [...]

    25. 3.5 stars There was a story in the most recent Best American Short Stories about a fictional girlfriend of Joe Carstairs The author had gotten the idea after reading this book, and while I d never head of Joe Carstairs until then, she sounded intriguing She was a champion speedboat racer who was openly gay at a time when that wasn t common, entertained famous people, had a little doll she treated like a pet, and owned and ruled over an island in the Bahamas unfortunately, her treatment of the in [...]

    26. I don t usually have the patience for biographies I generally get bored and rarely finish Joe Carstairs, however, is such a singular person that this was an easy and captivating read At times I felt it was a bit heavy on the psychoanalyzing, as though Joe were a piece of literature to be parsed as a college essay Then again, Joe seems to have been a person of such willful contradiction and enigma that she lends herself handily to analysis, and Summerscale does a good job of it Overall, a well wr [...]

    27. The author says in the Introduction There were many things this book could or would not be It would not be a book about lesbianism Joe Carstairs was too singluar and strange to be representative of anything other than herself Her orientation is treated matter of factly, far from downplayed it s upfront throughout the book Ms Summerscale has done an awful lot of research on a somewhat obscure subject, to put together a fascinating potrait of such an eccentric character I confess I skimmed through [...]

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