Actually, the impetus for and circumstances of her round-the-world trip are a little bit hard to pin down. Annie--who went by the name of Annie Londonderry during her escapade--played fast and loose with pretty much everything, from how much she actually rode her bicycle to the precise terms of the wager behind it. A brilliant marketing strategist and storyteller, closely attuned to the winds of the times, she made her escape from convention and turned it into money, notoriety, and a banner for a woman's right to freedom from restricting clothing and roles. This wasn't quite the adventure book I expected it to be, but I didn't care. Annie Londonderry's creativity and charisma captured me as well as it captured so many of her contemporaries. And while Peter Zheutlin only alludes to it, hidden in her tale is a wonderful love story--that of the man who stayed at home with their little family and let her make her independent way, welcomed her back at her journey's end, and continued to enjoy her company for the rest of their lives.
takingadayoff, November 10, 2008 (view all comments by takingadayoff)
The story of a young woman riding a bicycle around the world is adventure enough for a book, but Peter Zheutlin's detective work in finding out what actually took place over a hundred years ago is just as interesting as the (possibly true) account of Annie Kopchovsky's bizarre tale and its aftermath.
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Zheutlin pens the remarkable story of one woman--Annie Londonderry--one bike, and one incredible journey that would change the face of sports, feminism, and America itself. Illustrated.
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