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Book details
  • Genre:BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY
  • SubGenre:General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:338
  • eBook ISBN:9781623090715

Leonie - A Woman Ahead of Her Time

The Remarkable True Story Of Dr. Leonie Von Zesch And Her Adventurous Life In The American West Of The Early 20th Century

by Leonie von Zesch

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Overview
Leonie von Zesch (1882-1944), daughter of a German countess, was born in Llano, Texas. At age 19, she graduated as a Doctor of Dental Surgery. Her professional credentials allowed her the freedom to ignore the conventions of the times and follow her heart, combining work with adventure, preferring the wilds of Alaska, California and Arizona to the tameness of city life. The author offers a vivid firsthand account of her life and travels in the American West of the early 20th Century. She was posthumously inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame in March, 2012 in recognition of her service in bringing dental healthcare to the indigenous people of Alaska.
Description
Leonie von Zesch (1882-1944), daughter of a German countess, was born in Llano, Texas. At age 19, she graduated as a Doctor of Dental Surgery joining the ranks of the few women dentists of the times. Her professional credentials allowed her the freedom to ignore the then current social conventions and follow her heart, combining work with adventure, preferring the wilds of Alaska, California and Arizona to the tameness of city life. She aspired to be a writer and recounted her experiences with the Hopi people of Walpi; the Mormon families of Northern Arizona; her travels to the remote interior of Alaska by dog-sled; her Grand Tour of Europe and the Middle East in the Roaring Twenties; working with the UAX during the Great Depression and her final professional appointments with the Civilian Conservation Corps in The Mother Lode Country and dentist at California’s women’s prison in Tehachapi. “Leonie – A Woman Ahead of Her Time” immerses the reader in another era as seen through the eyes of a woman of extraordinary courage and determination. Leonie left her personal effects and papers to her niece, Jane Troutman, who was 18 and out of state in college at the time of her aunt’s death. The short stories and manuscripts containing the various versions of Leonie’s memoirs were stored in banker’s boxes for 35 years. They were discovered after the death of Leonie’s sister, Jane’s mother. However, it wasn’t until 2002 that Ms. Troutman read all of her aunt’s writings and understood the remarkable nature of Leonie’s life. She started piecing together the various versions of her aunt’s manuscripts, a herculean task as many pages were unnumbered and out of order. “Leonie – A Woman Ahead of Her Time” was released in May 2011 and the San Francisco Chronicle published one chapter in April 2011, to commemorate the 105th anniversary of the Great Earthquake.
About the author
Leonie von Zesch was born in Llano, Texas on 27th November 1882, the daughter of German aristocrats who could trace their lineage to the 11th century. She was a woman of the new twentieth century, graduating as a doctor of dental surgery in 1902, at age 19, and then combining her profession and love for adventure to live an unconventional, independent life. She died on July 7th, 1944 without having found a publisher for this book. In March 2012, she was inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame in recognition of her service bringing dental healthcare to the people of Alaska.
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