The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell

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One day in 1855 Lucy Lobdell cut her hair, changed clothes, and went off to live her life as a man. By the time it was over, she was notorious. The New York Times thought her worthy of a lengthy obituary that began “Death of a Modern Diana . . . Dressed in Man’s Clothing She Win’s a Girl’s Love.” The obit detailed what the Times knew of Lucy’s life, from her backwoods upbringing to the dance school she ran disguised as a man, “where she won the love of a young lady scholar.” But that was just the start of the ...
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The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell: A Novel

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Overview


One day in 1855 Lucy Lobdell cut her hair, changed clothes, and went off to live her life as a man. By the time it was over, she was notorious. The New York Times thought her worthy of a lengthy obituary that began “Death of a Modern Diana . . . Dressed in Man’s Clothing She Win’s a Girl’s Love.” The obit detailed what the Times knew of Lucy’s life, from her backwoods upbringing to the dance school she ran disguised as a man, “where she won the love of a young lady scholar.” But that was just the start of the trouble; the Times did not know about Lucy’s arrest and trial for the crime of wearing men’s clothes or her jailbreak engineered by her wife, Marie Perry, to whom she had been married by an unsuspecting judge.

Lucy lived at a time when women did not commonly travel unescorted, carry a rifle, sit down in bars, or have romantic liaisons with other women. Lucy did these things in a personal quest—to work and be paid, to wear what she wanted, and to love whomever she cared to. But to gain those freedoms she had to endure public scorn and wrestle with a sexual identity whose vocabulary had yet to be invented. Lucy promised to write a book about it all, and over the decades, people have searched for that account. Author William Klaber searched also until he decided that the finding would have to be by way of echoes and dreams. This book is Lucy’s story, told in her words as heard and recorded by an upstream neighbor.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A fictional memoir of Lucy Ann Lobdell, a 19th-century American woman who sought her freedom while disguised as a man. After her husband leaves for good, Lucy, a 25-year-old mother, realizes she has few options--she can work as a servant or marry any man who will have her. Instead, she creates a third option: She disguises herself as a man (bound breasts, cropped hair and all) and sets out to try her luck as a music and dance instructor in Honesdale, Pa., as far from her New York home as she can easily travel. As "Joseph" Lobdell, she finds not only a wealth of economic opportunity that she was denied as a woman, but also the chance to participate in intellectual and political discussions and become involved with her community. Much to her distress, she finds herself becoming invested in this life and loath to return home; she plans to send for her daughter one day but in the meantime, finds she enjoys the freedom of living her own way. Of course, as a woman posing as a man, Lucy is often in danger of being exposed and has to travel frequently to protect her secret, eventually leaving behind her daughter and the woman she came to love to establish herself in the wild Minnesota Territory. Lucy Ann Lobdell was a real person, expertly brought to life in this book. Although not a true memoir, it draws heavily from Lucy's own accounts and from real-life stories and articles by those who encountered her. As a character, Lucy is troubled but hopeful, conflicted but always seeking a new path. Her understanding of her own struggles, and of those around her, makes her a fine lens through which to view her friends and neighbors. The book also ably addresses questions of personal freedom--what it means to Lucy and to others and how they seek it or keep others from it. A well-crafted "memoir" of an unforgettable person, with plenty of questions about freedom, love and responsibility.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608325627
  • Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group, LLC
  • Publication date: 6/18/2013
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author


William Klaber is a part-time journalist. He lives in upstate New York on a hill overlooking Basket Creek, a short way upstream from where Lucy Lobdell lived 160 years ago.

The farmhouse he bought with his wife, Jean, in 1980 had a history with Lucy’s legend, but he didn’t know that till years later when he sat down for breakfast with a longtime local historian who told him Lucy’s story and showed him a leather satchel filled with recollections, newspaper articles, and letters about her, gathered over the years. In this collection was a copy of a self-written account of Lucy’s early life that the historian had found in an unmarked box in a library basement.

Despite his continued searching, the historian never found the memoir that Lucy had promised to write. Explaining that he had always thought to write a book of his own about Lucy but no longer felt up to it, the historian then handed the satchel to the author.

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Read an Excerpt

The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell


By William Klaber

Greenleaf Book Group Press

Copyright © 2013 William Klaber
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60832-562-7


Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

The train was late the day I ran away. Those waiting stood quietly—the women tightening their shawls, the men taking turns looking up the tracks. When it finally came in, the southbound number seven snorted and hissed, its damp breath spilling over the travelers as they said last good-byes and dragged their belongings up the metal stairs. I stayed by the stationhouse, my reasons for leaving growing smaller by the moment. Perhaps it was all a mistake. I should turn while I could and go home.

But my heart knew what my head could only suppose—that I had to leave or surely die. So when the steel wheels began to grind, I strode toward the train, and as the last car rolled by, I took three quick steps and leapt upon its stair. With my bag in one hand and a rail of cold iron in the other, I looked back as Callicoon and everything I knew slid off into the distance.

Had it been warmer I might have stayed out on the landing, but soon enough I went inside. The car smelled of cigars and was painted green, but more than that I couldn't say, as I took the first empty bench and lifted my newspaper. After a minute or two, I lowered it enough to let my eyes steal about. I saw pieces of faces and all sorts of hats but nothing that belonged to anyone I knew. Safe for the moment, I set the paper aside and looked out toward the river. There were no leaves yet on the trees, and as the sun flickered through the gray branches, I could see on the glass a faint reflection of myself, appearing and disappearing like a spirit trying to enter the world. The image was stranger still, for my curls were now gone. My neck felt oddly cool, and I knew the skin there was too white, even for the early spring. As for the rest of me, I was dressed in a canvas shirt and britches. My breasts were bound by a length of muslin.

I had thought in the morning that I'd fashioned a good imitation of a man, but later, at the train station, I wasn't sure. I found myself looking away from strangers, as though my eyes were windows through which they could see in just as I saw out. A woman, of course, is expected to avert her eyes, to draw a curtain as is proper, but for a man, looking away invites suspicion.

The conductor was my nearest worry. Could I meet his gaze and not reveal myself, or would he see the eyes of a wayward woman? In his blue coat he resembled a constable, and I imagined his damp hands on the back of my neck, tossing me off the train at the next stop. For a time he seemed content to trade stories with those up front, but then he turned and began to work his way up the aisle. I went back to my newspaper and pretended to read, but I could hear his wheeze as he approached.

"Ticket, sir."

I held out the stub and looked straight at him. His eyes were red and runny, and to my surprise, they darted away. He had something to hide, or more likely hidden, a bottle perhaps. Without a word he punched my ticket and moved on.

The train continued its parade down the valley, announcing itself at every chicken coop and hay barn, while my thoughts, with less noise, went the other way—back to Basket Creek. At this hour, Father would be in his chair before the fire, pipe in hand—my flight yet unnoticed, for they all thought I'd gone hunting. Brother John would be out in the barn, and Sarah would be in the kitchen with Mother, making some unkind comment about me, no doubt. Mary, bless her heart, would be upstairs playing with Helen. Sarah and Mary are my sisters.

And Helen?

I cannot hide her, so you might as well know. Helen is my daughter, left behind.


* * *

She came into this world seven months after my husband George ran off. By then I was back at Father's house, and the neighbor women helped at the birth. Mother was there, of course, neither gentle nor kind. Even afterward, I was merely tolerated by her, as though my daughter had been born out of wedlock.

Helen was a beautiful, spirited child, but I didn't feel the joy a mother should. First, there was George Slater's betrayal and then Mother's ongoing disdain. Yes, my husband had left me, but was that my sin or his? It wasn't even what Mother said so much as how she went about—nose in the air. A couple of months of that, and I started hunting again, in good part just to get away from her. While I was in the woods, Helen was with my sisters. In truth, I didn't give my daughter half of what I'd given my brother when he was little. Still, we had our playful times, especially once she was up and about. After dinner I would get on my knees, and Helen would ride my back, shrieking with delight as I neighed and pawed at the floor. And when I put her to bed, I would calm her by singing the lullaby that Mother had sung to me—the one about the fairies in the meadow.

As far as paying work, there wasn't any. Not for a woman. I earned my keep at my father's house by chopping wood and bringing home deer meat. I liked to hunt, though for most, a woman carrying a rifle was like a two-headed calf—something to look at and turn away from. Father wasn't bothered—he'd given me the gun and taught me to shoot out behind the barn. But brother John didn't like it and neither did my mother. I didn't care. They couldn't keep me from it, and in tramping the ridgelines, I gained a taste for what it might be like to be a man. Once while in my buckskins, I met a peddler on the river road. We walked near a mile, talking the whole way, my rifle on my shoulder and my hair in my hat. He never guessed and I didn't tell him. Nor did I tell anyone at home, but I went to bed that night feeling the excitement of it.

The autumn Helen turned three, the schoolmaster at Long Eddy, Mr. Pritchard, fell ill. I was offered his position, as there was no one else. I was good at the teaching, not just because I knew my numbers and letters but because I hadn't forgotten what it was like to be young. I didn't spend all my time taking the fun out of everything, which, by reputation, Mr. Pritchard did at every opportunity. I liked the work and was grateful for the appointment—grateful until I opened the school's book and saw that my pay was only one-half that of Mr. Pritchard. I didn't say anything, but after a few days of weighing it, I decided to stand up for myself. I wrote a careful letter demanding my due, but it never got sent. The schoolmaster became well, and that was the end of my teaching.

In the spring I became housekeeper for Raspy Winthrop, a widower with three children who lived along the river. Mother said his real name was Jasper, but I never heard anyone call him that. I went to work for him because I wanted to do my part and bring money home, but all I got was one dollar a week when men working the same hours made ten. Worse, Winthrop looked at me like I was a calf bound for market.

One afternoon while I was baking, he came up behind me—I could smell him. He put his stubby hands on my hips, but I knocked them away and told him I'd skin him like a coon if he did it again. He just laughed through his greasy whiskers, and I didn't tell anyone. Why give the hens of Long Eddy something to cluck about? Instead, the very next evening, I had to endure Mother saying how the prospects looked good for Mr. Winthrop's freight business, meaning him, his wagon, and two scabby mules. Ten wagons and twenty mules, it would have made no difference. How could anyone even think it? But they did. A week later, without a word of warning, Raspy Winthrop announced that he and I would be getting married, as though his saying it would make it so.

"You jus' gotta learn," he said, chewing the words, "which side the bread the butter is on."

And that's the way he, my mother, and most people saw it. If I did more work than I was already doing, got no pay for it at all, and in the bargain allowed him to take his pleasure with me, I would have, in everyone's eyes, risen in station. For my part, I would have thrown myself off the Callicoon Bridge before sharing a bed with that man. And his proposal was an insult. Even my no-good George said that I was dear when he proposed. Believing him was my mistake, but at least he said it.

Did I protest? Tell Winthrop what a hog he was? No—not in those words. I just knew, deep within, that as a woman I could do nothing for myself or my daughter. We would learn the thin charity of others, like the widows and orphans in the Bible, allowed to pick up the stray grains of wheat. Of course, I could have heeded my father, but I didn't. Now I was damaged, and it would be Winthrop or someone like him. I could be either housekeeper or wife, indentured servant or slave. I wanted no part of it. I took off my apron and told Winthrop that from then on he could bake his own bread and butter whatever side of it he liked.

I returned home and secretly set about my preparations. I oiled my rifle, wrapped it in burlap, and hid it in the woodshed. I walked to Long Eddy and checked the times for trains. I went down to the root cellar and retrieved the small box with the money given me on my marriage day.

Three days later I rose while it was still dark and put on a shirt and britches, clothes my brother had outgrown. I cut my hair by candlelight and wrote a note saying that I'd gone hunting. Then I went to the small bed where Helen lay asleep. She was three but still had that milk-fed smell. I kissed her gently so as not to wake her. I told her I was leaving to find work so I could provide for her—that I loved her and would return. These words were spoken true, and as I walked the Callicoon road that morning, the thought of Helen in her bed did not weaken my knees but rather gave me strength for the journey to come.


* * *

It was dark when the train pulled into Port Jervis. The station was filled with people waiting to get on the train or to meet those getting off. No one made way for me, and I had to use my elbows. When I reached the street, I found it lit by gas lamps, something I had never seen. The light danced off the cobblestones and floated in the fog that drifted up from the river. I stopped to watch it, but others pushed past me as though it were nothing. Laughter and loud conversation led me to the Canal House Inn. I followed two men in long coats into a hall filled with men drinking mugs of beer. After a quick look about, I cut a path through the room to where the innkeeper sat adding numbers. He was a small, wiry man, but on his stool behind the counter he seemed imposing.

"Have you rooms to let?" I asked, my voice cracking on the last word. The innkeeper looked up, and I coughed as though clearing my throat.

"Two bits for jus' yerself," he said looking back down at the ledger. I nodded and with a shaky hand signed his book Joseph Israel Lobdell, taking the name of my grandfather, gone years now but still missed by me. Granddad had never made me feel less than my boy cousins, and once I heard him brag about how well I could shoot. And when he died, he left me money as he did the boys—money given me on my marriage day and not a nickel of it spent until now. Would my taking his name insult him? I didn't think so. More likely, he'd be up in heaven having a good laugh.

The room at the inn was no larger than a horse stall, but I sat on the bed, happy to be alone. I undid my shirt and then the wrap, suddenly able to breathe again. It would take some getting used to, although, in truth, I never had much of a chest, even after nursing my Helen. I lay back and looked at the ceiling, wishing to rest and think about nothing. But the candle let off a flickering light, and I began to see strange faces in the cobwebs above. I would have gone at them with a broom had there been one.

A little later I was downstairs, bowl of soup in hand. I made my way through the crowded room till I found a table with an empty place. Already there, bent over their bowls, were three men in oil-stained overalls. I was ready to meet them in the eye, but no one looked up as I sat down. They just slurped the broth and belched in turn.

I sat before my soup and looked at my spoon. Should I too slurp? But then what if I did it wrong? Safer to be quiet. I found the broth a little briny, but the mutton was good, and tasted all the better because I hadn't spent the day cooking it. With food in my belly, the clamor in the room turned melodious. I sat and watched as men gestured, guffawed, and slapped each other on the back. I liked it. I liked being there. And why couldn't there be a hall where women could go and do the same? A regular slap on the back might do us all some good.

After a while, I got up from the table, not wishing to remain the only one without beer in hand. I found a hallway that led to a room where men sat in large chairs and smoked cigars. I would have been more out of place in that room, so I stayed in the hall and looked at the notices posted there. I had the faint hope that someone might be looking for a schoolteacher or a music teacher, but there was nothing like that. A carriage was for hire; a wheelwright sought; a teamster needed. But then a notice in bold letters caught my eye: TO ADvENTURERS! OPPORTUNITIES IN HONESDALE! The bill was faded and worn, but I read it top to bottom. Then, when no one was looking, I took it down and put it in my pocket.


* * *

That night in my room I wrote a letter home. Using a careful hand, I said only what I had to, not wishing to pile one lie upon another:

Dear Mother and Father,

I have left Basket Creek in search of work. Please forgive me. I will return for Helen when I have a proper place to live. I am sorry I did not heed your warning about Mr. Slater, but I hope I can redeem my mistake. John, Mary and Sarah have been so dear with Helen, and I am truly grateful for all the love you have given me.

Your devoted daughter, Lucy Ann


I folded the page so I could post it in the morning, but there was a tight feeling in my throat as though more words wanted to come. I took another sheet and began a wild scrawl: Dear Ma and Pa. I have cut off all my hair and I'm wearing John's clothes, the skunk. If Reverend Hale could see me now, he'd have me tied up and burned, for sure. Please tell him that I'm staying upstairs at a den of sin with many drunken men below. No, George isn't with them, but you were right—he was a drunk and a lout. But that didn't make me a harlot. Tell John that his dumb old knife is under the bucket in the barn, not far from where he left it. And kindly suggest to Sarah that she should, once a month, as hard as it might be, give a thought to someone other than herself. I don't know where I'll sleep tomorrow. Your footloose first-born, Lucy Magdalene.

When my scribbling was done, I felt better. I took the second note to the lamp and gave it to the angels to deliver, watching it burn as I held one corner. Then I shed my brother's clothes and got into my grandfather's flannel shirt, the one that I had slept in for years. I reached for my hairbrush and then realized I wouldn't need it. Brushing out tangles was a chore I didn't like, but now I felt deprived. I wanted to be home in front of the fire, sewing or darning—I didn't care. I wanted to talk to Mary. I wanted to lie down with Helen and kiss her good-night.

This would not do. This would not do at all. A woman crying upstairs at the inn would be the end to everything. Thinking then to summon other spirits, I went into my bag and pulled out my violin. The lacquer glowed orange in the dim light. I plucked the D string for good luck.

I was eight when Father taught me to play. He told me the strings were magic, and I had seen it for myself. Father could wave that bow and make a tear roll down my face. Or he could lift me out of my chair and make me dance like a fool. Not anymore—his hands had become swollen and stiff. The violin was mine. I had even thought to offer instruction on it or in dance, as I had received training in both while at school in Coxsackie. But in Long Eddy it was hard enough to get children into the classroom to learn their letters. There was no one who would sit still for music lessons, much less pay for them. I looked at the violin and imagined the songs I might play. My tiny room could have used a little magic, but, not wishing to draw attention, I put the instrument away.

CHAPTER 2

I woke in the morning to the smell of spilled beer. I was in a lumpy bed, looking again at the cobwebs—no faces there now, only spiders. I dressed, all the while aware of the letter on the table that I'd written the night before. I felt an urge to tear it up, but I put the letter in my pocket and went downstairs. After porridge at the tavern, I walked to the mail depot and posted it to Long Eddy.

Coming out of the depot, I noticed a shop across the street—a shop that sold clothes for men. I went over and peered through the glass in the door but couldn't get myself to turn the knob. I had bought clothes in a store only twice, each time in Albany with my mother and never as a man. How was it done? I stood in place like a statue, till I thought people might be looking. If they were, they saw me leave with a purposeful step as though remembering some errand. A minute down the street I stopped to scold myself—if I were to live as a man, there would be things more difficult than this.
(Continues...)


Excerpted from The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell by William Klaber. Copyright © 2013 by William Klaber. Excerpted by permission of Greenleaf Book Group Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 26 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The Lovable Lucy Ann What a cool book! I know that¿s an odd des

    The Lovable Lucy Ann

    What a cool book! I know that’s an odd description for a novel, especially one that falls into the historical fiction category, but I just can’t think of a better word. This book is just soooo cool. And incredible. And wonderfully written. And you know what’s even cooler than the book? The story about how it came to be! (see video below)

    The Background

    The author, William Klaber, fell into the remarkable story of Lucy Ann Lobdell quite accidentally. In the early 1980′s,  he and his wife bought a house in Basket Creek, NY. Twenty years later, a researcher named Jack Niflot (who was intending to write a book about Lucy ) called up Klaber and wanted to meet for lunch. He then told Klaber that not only was his house rumored to be haunted by the ghost of Lucy Ann Lobdell (who Klaber was clueless about), but he handed over all of his research on her to Klaber. You see, Niflot was going to write a book about Lucy but was no longer feeling up to it. Klaber, he believed, was the right man for the task. And thus, a story was born! Can you believe it? Luckily for the rest of the world, the research was handed over to someone capable of weaving such a great tale.

    The Book

    The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell follows the real-life Lucy (Joseph) Lobdell as she makes her way through the world living as a man. Left pregnant and penniless by her husband, Lucy was forced to move back in with her parents and siblings. Frustrated at being unable to provide for her daughter, Helen, Lucy snuck out of her family home in search of “mens work” that would allow her to build a better life for her and her daughter. Lucy had every intention of working for a short period of time, purchasing some land, and bringing her daughter to live with her. What she found, instead, was a life full of opportunities and risks.
    Living as a man, Lucy began to realize that not only did she prefer the freedoms that were afforded to her, but that she was able to develop intimate feelings for other women. Unfortunately, the precarious situation that she had put herself in made relationships difficult and she was ‘found out’ on more than one occasion. Fortunately, Lucy had a sharp mind and thick skin and was able to stand up for herself when attacked physically, emotionally, and legally for her decisions to live as a man. Even after she was found to be a woman and forced to move around (she lived in New York, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota), she refused to wear dresses and would only wear mens clothes.
    This is, of course, an incredibly watered-down synopsis of what the book is about. I’m also leaving out some of the really juicy stuff because I don’t want to ruin it for you, but I DO want you to know that there is really juicy stuff.

    Here are 5 reasons why you should read it:
    1. It’s based on a true story 
    2. Lucy Ann Lobdell was later believed to be in the first openly “lesbian” relationship
    3. Lucy lived in the woods – by herself – for years.
    4. The attacks on her, whether verbal, physical, or legal, will infuriate you but also give you something to think about when you can’t sleep at night
    5. It’s funny (there is a scene that discusses lady plumpers – however, I do NOT recommend that you Google this)

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 11, 2013

    I am so glad I selected The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell t

    I am so glad I selected The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell to read and review.  Too little has been written about women who were willing to take the risk to live out their lives in spite of what society demanded of them.  Lucy Ann Lobdell was one of those women.




    As mentioned above, Lucy's story literally dropped into William Klaber's hands. Although Lucy had stated her intentions to write an account of her adventures posing as a man, no such record was ever found.




    “I intend to write a book in which I shall  give a full account of my adventures whilst I adoped male attire.”




    —Lucy Lobdell writing in 1855




    The result of Klaber's continued research into Lucy Lobdell's life and the information already gathered by the local historian is a mixture of truth and fiction compiled in an extraordinary biography/memoir.  Klaber has managed to thread together the truth found in the satchel and "echoes and dreams" to flesh out the unknown portions of Lucy's rebellion.




    Lucy's husband walked out on her and left her in dire straits.  Pregnant, Lucy moved back home to her parents and siblings.  Giving birth to a daughter, Helen, soon after, Lucy finds herself with no means of supporting herself and the child.  Observant and clever, Lucy quickly saw that in a man's world she could make a decent wage IF ONLY she were a man.  Lucy executes a well-considered plan to leave her family and home and yes, her daughter, to assume life as a man.  Casting aside her female attire, Lucy dons menswear and sets off on in search of a new life.




    Not only does she find a higher wage, Lucy envisions plans for purchasing land, building a home, and bringing Helen to live with her.  In order to do this and under the guise of living as man, Lucy teaches school, forms a dance school, instructs students in violin studies, and inserts herself into society.  Lucy is a woman of determination, strong will and a skin thick enough to ward off the judgments soon made against her both physical and emotional. Despite the difficulties she encounters, Lucy does not return to her life as a woman, refusing to wear dresses and continuing her life dressed in men's clothing.




    Klaber tastefully draws Lucy's character for his reader into a near palpable reality.  I cheered Lucy on in her difficult times, and often questioned her logic in her portrayal as a man in a world and society so unaccepting of her efforts to make a life for herself and her child.  The pages could not be turned quickly enough.




    To tell you more will spoil the book for you, dear reader, and I cannot with a clear conscience do that.  If you are a lover of biography and memoir and historical fiction, you should consider addingThe Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell to your library.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2014

    Recommended for discussions on women's issues in mid to late 1800's

    The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell by William Klaber is a book that portrays a woman in pre-Civil War and post Civil War times who attempts to impersonate a man in order to be able to survive and make a living in a man's world. Eventually, she finds that she prefers to be masculine and this leads to many adventures with disastrous consequences. The historical settings of the story are very interesting, but over all, I found it to be depressing. I would recommend this book for book clubs that study historical fiction and women's issues.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 24, 2013

    not as great as I had hoped for...

    Good for a middle/high school literature review about the role of women in the U.S.' westward expansion.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2013

    Highly recommended

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 18, 2013

    I really enjoyed this book. Once I started reading it, I couldn'

    I really enjoyed this book. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. 

    I'm not usually a fan of historical fiction but this story, based on a real woman, captivated me. She left her home to make a life for her daughter and herself by posing as a man. I liked her spunky attitude earlier in her life and it was sad to see how society (and her family!) treated her as she continued trying to be the person that she was.

    Reading this book really let me see how blessed we are as women in this day and age! :-)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2013

    William Klaber has given us a rare gift. In his new historical n

    William Klaber has given us a rare gift. In his new historical novel The Rebellion of Lucy Ann Lobdell, he brings to life the remarkable story of a notorious but almost forgotten 19th century trailblazer from New York State. This is an extraordinary story of courage, determination, love and misfortune. Lucy had the audacity to cross lines forbidden to women and live as a man with the liberties of a man. Taking such risks cost her dearly, but she dared to live her life according to her truth. 
    Klaber deftly gives voice to a woman ahead of her time who took for herself the rights denied her as a woman; to pursue a fair living wage, to love and marry whomever she pleased, to own property and to dress in the attire of her choosing. 
    So little written “history” exists about the lives of women both great and small.  This fictional memoir of Lucy Ann Lobdell returns to us the vibrant legend of an intrepid heroine and an original feminist. This well honed adventure is a “must read” for everyone. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2014

    Do not recommend

    I only finished this book because it was for book club. I thought the characters were flat, no depth to them at all. There were so many possibilities to make these characters come alive, but it did not happen!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2014

    Insinuating

    I must say that I had not planned to enjoy this book as much as I did. It is one of those books that stays on your reading list until you've found the "right" time to read it.
    The narrative is well-rounded and thought out. The gaps you find are only noticed when they are being filled in, and even then you realize the information is perfectly placed.
    Though the issue is not explored in painful detail, the attention given to the issues of being a lesbian woman, and not conforming to the ideal of what a woman should be, do, and even dress like, is done with great balance. There is no judgment passed as it is always forefront that this is a different time, and we are merely observers of this history. This, however, does not detract from the book's ability to make you lose yourself in the experiences of a truly pioneering and unique woman.
    I would highly recommend this book to any person who enjoys historical fiction, and historical fact, for that matter. Mr. Klaber has made me believe that Lucy Ann has truly written her memoir and given a voice to women of the time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2014

    Enjoyed this book

    Very interesting read.

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  • Posted January 31, 2014

    Highly recommended check it out.

    enjoyed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    Loved it!

    Great book! Amazing what Lucy did in her life time. She was way ahead of her time and she never knew it.

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  • Posted January 26, 2014

    Great Story!

    I honestly didn't know this was based on a real person until the end of the book!! (or that it was about the first recorded Lesbian!)
    I read it so quickly and was fascinated throughout the entire book. This book makes me want to look Lucy Ann Lobdell up and learn some more!
    William Klaber did a wonderful job keeping me engrossed in the story. His added notes at the end along with the news articles on Lucy were very interesting!
    Loved the book. Very creative writing filling in the personal story around the news articles and family folklore.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2014

    A stunningly written book, without sentimentality or sap, about

    A stunningly written book, without sentimentality or sap, about a truly brave woman who remained true to herself despite the insurmountable odds of her times.
    I loved it and hated to see it end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2014

    Is this book any good?

    ????? IS IT ANY GOOD?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Recommend

    Compellingly read. Was skeptical at first but couldn't stop reading. Appalling living conditions for this courageous lady in her time. We have come a long way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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