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Maiden Flightis the true-life story of the Wright sister who in 1926 left her world-famous and intensely possessive older brother to marry newspaper editor Harry Haskell, the man she loved, and suffered the unhappy consequences. An international celebrity in her own right, Katharine embodied the worldly, independent, and self-fulfilled New Woman of the early twentieth century. Yet she remained in many ways a Victorian. Torn between duty and love, she agonized for months before making her devastating break with Orville at age fifty-two.
Cast in the form of three interwoven first-person memoirs, Maiden Flightis imaginatively reconstructed from personal letters, newspaper reports, and other documents of the period—in particular, Katharine’s lively and extraordinarily revealing love letters to Harry. In allowing Katharine to step outside of Wilbur and Orville’s shadow, it sheds new light on the central role she played in their private lives, as well as on her often misunderstood contribution to their scientific work. Above all, Maiden Flight celebrates Katharine’s abundant store of what she called “human nature”—her lively and perceptive outlook on life, her great capacity for both love and indignation, and her acute and sometimes crippling self-awareness.
About the Author
Harry Haskell is the grandson of Henry J. (Harry) Haskell, husband of Katharine Wright. He is the author of Boss-Busters and Sin Hounds: Kansas City and ItsStar, The Early Music Revival: A History, and editor of The Attentive Listener: Three Centuries of Music Criticism.He lives in Guilford, Connecticut.
"Masterfully drawing on intimate family letters, Haskell crosses the boundaries of fact and fiction to bring to life the distinctive voices of an era and illuminate one exceptional woman's struggle for independence and fulfillment." —Lauren Belfer, author of And After the Fire
"Combining family lore with meticulous historical and biographical research, Haskell has crafted a lively tale of the forgotten Wright sibling. While very much of its era, the recounting of family relationships, love coming late in life, and the excitement of new technology reverberates in our own time as well." —Tracy Barrett, author of Anna of Byzantium
"Harry Haskell unravels the mystery of the 'third' Wright brother—their sister, Katharine. Beautifully told!"—Richard Maurer, author of The Wright Sister
“Haskell imaginatively makes what was already an interesting triangle even more emotionally gripping. This slow burn of a story draws readers in more deeply with each page and makes Katharine truly the most intriguing Wright of them all.” —Booklist