Among the glittering generation of pioneering aviators and aviatrixes of the 1920s and 1930s, Jessie ‘Chubbie’ Miller stands out as remarkably adventurous. Carol Baxter’s highly readable biography provides an engaging portrait of a young suburban housewife who decided, quite literally, to make her own way in the world. As Baxter acknowledges, for a biographer it is a tremendous story that just keeps on giving. This book does it justice.
Born in 1901 in a small town located at the end of a railway line that stretched almost 400 kilometres from Perth, itself the most remote capital city in the world, Jessie Beveridge moved with her family in 1906 to the bright lights of Broken Hill. Her provincial upbringing was constrained all the more by the conservative religious views of her parents, who expected their daughter’s destiny to consist of marriage and motherhood.