Inspired by the true story of a woman, Charlotte “Charley” Parkhurst (1812-1879), this blend of fact and fiction tells the tale of a courageous nineteenth-century heroine. “The Whip” explores the tragic, and for much of her life, unorthodox life of a woman who chose to live as a man. “Charley” even voted in the 1868 American election before women were allowed at the polls!
Charlotte suffered a series of devastating losses in her younger years. Her African American lover, who was a runaway slave, was murdered and she lost a daughter. But, she went on to succeed in a profession that those of her own gender were not allowed to pursue. “Charley” became a renowned stage coach driver and shows us a fascinating portrayal of this admirable historical figure and delves into the complex character of a tough woman combating old-school tradition and unhealthy stereotypes. She identified with male-dominated activities and interests, so she dressed like a man and learned to project a male image so convincing, her colleagues never questioned it.
“After much cogitating on the subject, she decided that it seemed that one could reinvent oneself in this new mysterious, musky world she was invading – and who that new self was, people did not question. Perhaps it was the men’s clothes, the short hair, the pungent smell of sweat she allowed. Or perhaps it was just that people were too involved in their own person to really look, observe and give a damn.”
“The Whip” is action propelled and a riveting story. It showcases the best and the worst of America as our country began to transition into a progressive society. This book was highly recommended by a friend and its been difficult to keep it on the shelf! You can find a copy now on our new book table…Enjoy!