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Gertie: The Fabulous Life of Gertrude Sanford Legendre; Heiress, Explorer, Socialite, Spy

by Kathryn Smith

Gertie lived a 20th century life full of fun, adventure, derring-do and drama. Read all about her Gilded Age girlhood, explorations on three continents, hijinks on the French Riviera with the Lost Generation, work for the OSS—the original American spy agency—during World War II, and her imprisonment by the Nazis. And that’s less than half the story of this remarkable South Carolinian’s life!

History

$20.00

Gertie lived a 20th century life full of fun, adventure, derring-do and drama: a Gilded Age girlhood, explorations on three continents, hijinks on the French Riviera with the Lost Generation, work for the OSS (the original American spy agency) during World War II, and imprisonment by the Nazis. And that’s less than half the story!
Gertrude Sanford Legendre was a woman whose adventurous life began in Aiken, S.C. in 1902 and ended at her plantation outside Charleston in 2000. Daring and fearless, she undertook numerous challenging expeditions for natural history museums, and befriended some of the greatest personalities of the time, including Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Harpo Marx, 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!

About the Author

Kathryn Smith is a critically acclaimed author and speaker who is fascinated by women who were ahead of their time. Her first biography, The Gatekeeper, told the unknown story of Marguerite LeHand, private secretary and chief of staff to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the first woman to be secretary to a president. Kathryn is also the author of a collection of interviews with World War II veterans, A Necessary War, and a series of Missy LeHand Mystery novels co-authored with Kelly Durham. She lives in Anderson, South Carolina.

Praise

Gertrude Legendre is one of the most fascinating characters to emerge from the history of American espionage in World War II. She was a woman who knew all the secrets—and who kept them even after the Germans captured her. But she was also a dazzling socialite in the Roaring Twenties, a huntress in some of the most forbidding terrain on Earth, and lady of the manor called Medway near Charleston. In Gertie, Kathryn Smith has given us, at last, the biography this truly extraordinary woman deserves.”

 —Christopher Dickey, author of Our Man in Charleston: Britain’s Secret Agent in the Civil War South

 

What a life! Heiress; adventuress; big-game hunter; explorer–in the decades after the Great War, Gertrude Legendre embodied the free-spirited Jazz Age woman…Kathryn Smith’s marvelous biography brings Legendre’s remarkable story vividly to the page. You will be transfixed.”

Liza Mundy, author of Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II