Aimée Crocker was an heiress to gold and railroad fortunes and a daughter of Judge Edwin B. Crocker (1818-1875), legal counsel for the Central Pacific Railroad, Justice of the California Supreme Court in 1865 and founder of the Crocker Art Museum. Her father was a brother of Charles Crocker, one of the “big four” California railroad barons. Aimée had a tale or two to tell. Aside from lavish parties, husbands, and lovers, she traveled widely throughout Asia. She tells of escaping headhunters in Borneo, poisoning in Hong Kong, and avoiding murder by servants in Shanghai. While away, she was christened Princess Palaikalani Bliss of Heaven by King David Kalakaua, the last king of Hawaii, and then Princess Galitzine when she wed her fifth and final husband, Prince Mstislav Galitzine. This is her autobiography, first published in 1936.
Out November 2017
400 pages approx.
I received this book in exchange for my honest review.
Aimee Crocker… what a spitfire!
To understand the shocking actions of Aimee Crocker, you must understand the restraints of the Edwardian era depicted in the book and what it meant for women of that time.
Women could not vote. Women were thought to be seen and not heard. They were considered property of men, fathers, brothers and then husbands. If the husband tired of her, he could get rid of her for another woman. The woman could not divorce the husband. Women were not allowed to own property. They were deemed chattel and were basically bought for ‘mating’ rights, the value of their ‘charms’ were based on the size of their dowry. Men married women from wealthy families to gain higher status in society. A woman’s status never changed. If she was born into money, she was a commodity, a bargaining chip. If a woman was born into poverty, she remained there and often sold herself to survive. Later came work houses, becoming a nanny, working for the rich and taking in laundry of the rich.
Aimee broke all the rules. She did things and went places that would be considered scandelous back then. She was daring and strong and I admire her courage too be true to herself.
Of course, she was rich and had the means to do things others could not, but she did bring about courage for other women who left their mark on history. I didn’t like the writing at times, but the exploits and adventures were fun to read and I even laughed out loud at times at her audacity.
I gave this book: