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"This entertaining romp would have made an appealing novel; the fact that it is a true story makes it yet more compelling."
- Good Book Guide (UK)

"Excellent. Treads a careful line between sensation and sentiment."
- Daily Telegraph

"Remarkably gripping and at times hilarious."
- Daily Mail

"Fascinating. Collis's unpretentious, ribald, chatty style carries this ripping yarn."
- Time Out

"One of the oddest true stories ever told . film producers would be mad not to snap it up."
- Mail On Sunday

"Extraordinary. A fascinating history."
- Big Issue (UK)

"On April 15, 1929, a few months after Radclyffe Hall's "The Well of Loneliness" was booed, banned and burned, a trial concluded at the Old Bailey with the sentencing of Colonel Victor Barker to nine months imprisonment. For Colonel Barker was, in fact, a woman. Six years earlier as Victor Barker, Valerie Lilias Arhelt Smith had married Elfrida Hayward in St Peters Church, Brighton. Her trial, which became one of the most scandalous news stories of the decade, led to her imprisonment, but on her release she once again assumed life as a man and her life thereafter went from tragedy to fame and back to tragedy again. This is her story."


"Rose Collis is a journalist and writer. She is the author of several critically acclaimed books including A Trouser-Wearing Character: The Life and Times of Nancy Spain and K.D. Lang."

Very favourable reviews on

Paperback 2002.

308 pages.

Black & white photographs throughout.

Very good condition.

The cost of shipping is $4.95.

There is of course no charge for shipping if you collect this book from my shop in Palmerston North following the auction.

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  • Seller location: Palmerston North, Manawatu, NZ

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