A Book Signing with Kathryn Smith
Join us at Hub City Bookshop on September 24th to meet a writer full of passion for women’s history! Enjoy a fun reading, Q&A session and book signing to follow.
Kathryn Smith is a journalist, writer and American history speaker who is fascinated by women who were ahead of their time. Her interest in Gertrude Legendre was aroused when a friend told her about the multi-talented, multi-tasking mistress of Medway Plantation. “When she got to the part about Gertie escaping the Nazis over the Swiss border, I said, ‘Wait, wait, one woman did all this?” As part of her research, Kathryn personally traced Gertie’s POW experience, from the Ritz Hotel bar in Paris where she met a friend who agreed to drive her to the front, to her escape by train from Konstanz, Germany. Her research also took her to Aiken, where Gertie was born, New York, where she lived in a mansion off Central Park, and, finally, to Medway itself.
Gertie: The Fabulous Life of Gertrude Sanford Legendre, Heiress, Explorer, Socialite, Spy is about a woman whose adventurous life spanned the twentieth century, beginning in Aiken, S.C. in 1902 and ended at her plantation outside Charleston in 2000. She was a daring and fearless woman whose adventures include being the first American woman in uniform held as a POW by the Germans during World War II. She also partied on the Riviera with the Murphys, the Fitzgeralds and Harpo Marx in the 1920s, went on numerous expeditions for natural history museums (and lead four) and befriended some of the greatest personalities of the 20th century, including Dr. Albert Schweitzer, General George S. Patton, Lilly Pulitzer, and Bing Crosby. In her later years, she became an ardent conservationist, fighting for habitat preservation on the South Carolina coast and leaving her 7,000-acre plantation in a conservation easement, a place where “the beasts can grow old and die.” “Gertie” is a rollicking read about a woman who was not afraid to say yes to life!
Kathryn Smith is also the author of The Gatekeeper: Missy LeHand, FDR, and the Partnership That Defined a Presidency and a series of mystery novels featuring Missy LeHand as an amateur detective co-authored with Kelly Durham.