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The Fabulous Flying Mrs Miller

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  130 ratings  ·  33 reviews
The remarkable true story of a beguiling Melbourne housewife who in the 1920s seeks international fame, fortune and adventure as an aviator and finds herself as the central figure in a sensational American murder trial.

'Mrs Keith Miller, internationally known aviatrix, was taken to the county jail here today and held for investigation by State Attorney's investigators. Jai
Paperback, 432 pages
Published April 2017 by Allen & Unwin
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  130 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is, indeed, a great story. I have done bits of reading and research on aviation history and enjoyed the accounts of ‘Chubby’s’ early preparations and flight with Bill Henderson. The skills and endurance required of pioneer aviators were extraordinary. It is only through the daily account of the weather, the failed equipment, the process of navigating with paper maps, peering over the side of the open plane while taking compass bearings and reading a basic instrument panel that a modern read ...more
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
I received a free copy of this in a goodreads giveaway.

Honestly, before this book I do not think I have ever heard of Mrs Miller (though I did know Amelia Earhart). Anyways it was a good book about a ballsy, confident and rebellious woman.

Easy to read and a great story.
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating well written bit of aviation history.
Kylie H
Jul 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Sections of this book were quite interesting as I had been completely unaware of this Australian aviatrix prior. The parts about her flying feats as an early female aviator were inspiring. However half the story recapped a court case which I found quite dull in comparison and detracted from Chubbie's achievements. ...more
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio, history-era
I received this through the LibraryThing Early Reader giveaway. It looked to be interesting, and I was not disappointed.

Mrs. Miller, who went by the nickname "Chubbie," was not the acceptable woman of the 1920s era. She was married, but found it boring. When she had a chance to leave her dull life, she didn't hesitate. Her life became immersed in aviation at a time when women were striving to become their own pilots (aviatrix), set records and prove that they were not the frail creatures that me
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Mrs Jessie (Chubbie) Miller was certainly a remarkable woman. In 1927 Chubbie left her husband in Australia, and escaped to England. Here she met Bill Lancaster, an ex war pilot. He introduced her into the adventurous aviation world, and romance. She became a world known aviatrix, and also, unfortunately a licentious woman. Carol Baxter has thoroughly researched Chubbie's life. However, I do think there was too much detail about every flight Chubbie ventured. Of course, Chubbie's flying triumphs ...more
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review of Advance Reading Copy

The early days of aviation, filled with adventure, danger, and bravado, did not easily accept lady fliers. This, however, did not deter the women pilots although they chaffed at appellations such as ladybirds, petticoat pilots, flying flappers, and sweethearts of the air. Their daring achievements, now part of the glory days of early aviation history, revealed their stamina, their grit, their ability to pilot planes just as well as their male counterparts.

“The Fabul
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Mrs Miller was completely unknown to me before I read this book and despite the fact that she was able to transcend her boring Melbourne suburbanite beginnings and step outside the square for a woman born on the wrong side of the world, and in an era where women had to struggle against sexism and society expectations, I never really felt I got to know her or even really like her. Her thirst for adventure and persistence in pushing herself beyond her limits was inspirational and that to my mind m ...more
Chloe Hughes
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was given to me as a present for my birthday and like others the only female pilot I have heard of was Amelia Earhart.
Jessie "Chubbie" Miller was a remarkable woman who never was content on being a regular housekeeper, wife and a mother. To have freedom, she got married then an opportunity to travel from Melbourne to London in 1927 led her to meet the love of her life and flying mentor Bill Lancaster when she co-piloted from Croydon to Darwin then a move to the USA to for her compete in th
Lee Belbin
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
A terrific book about a person I never knew existed, and a fellow Australian to boot. A great insight into the situation with women around 1920-30 and particularly those that wanted to do the same things as the boys. Seems in some ways they achieved more than women in the 40's and 50's. I've only noted some female commercial pilots in the past 10 years, but they are there. 'Chubby' Miller was a determined and talented girl, generating support for her first flights with Bill to being what appears ...more
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh no. I have finished this book. I shed a few tears too as I turned the final page. Chubbie Miller didn't want an ordinary life as a housewife in Australia in the 1920s. So, she decided to set out into the big wide world to find a more exciting life; and she did. In a big way. I wonder did she ask herself whether or not it could be quite so remarkable the day she met Flight Captain Bill Lancaster. A story of courage, drive, determination, and a murder. Carol Baxter has written a book that is so ...more
Apr 24, 2017 marked it as to-read
A really good read for myself, but my Husdand ,who doesn't read a lot couldn't put this book down, he reads for interest and knowdlege. Will recommend to our friends, this copy will be going to our local tiger moth air field museum book shelf.

Diane Lester
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I loved Mrs Miller too...gutsy, rebellious and confident. Not a hard read. Not a complicated read but quite an amazing story....if it wasn't based on a real story you would find it hard to believe. Chubbie (Mrs Miller) were a woman born of the wrong time. ...more
May 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
I loved Chubby's adventurous spirit, a woman who broke the mould and was extraordinarily bold for the times. A friend and contemporary of Amelia Earhart, Mrs Miller's was a fabulous story to be told. However, I found the book rather repetitive in its telling of the facts from multiple viewpoints ...more
June Thorn
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a book club pick and I am so glad. Read it. I salute you Mrs Miller. To do what you did in a time that you did it in is amazing. A great read.
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have to be honest and say that, until reading reviews about The Fabulous Flying Mrs Miller, I had never heard of Jessie “Chubbie” Miller. In some ways I find this surprising given her truly remarkable involvement in the aviation industry in the 1920s and 1930s.

The book gives us an insight into Chubbie’s early childhood in regional Western Australian and her young adult life as a housewife in suburban Melbourne. Her discontent with domestic life in Melbourne saw her embracing an opportunity to
Jeff Jellets
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing

An absolutely wonderful read.

Carol Baxter’s high-flying biography of turn-of-the-century aviatrix Jessie “Chubbie” Miller is a wonderful gem of a book – filled with adventure, romance and heartbreak – that soars off the pages with all the pulpy fun of a real-life Indiana Jones exploit. Miller, who improbably begins her adventures as little more than a modest Australian housewife on holiday, ends up darting across continents in an open-cockpit biplane, soloing to Cuba (and crashing on the way bac
Trish L
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I had been keen to read this book ever since I heard the author being interviewed on a radio show at the time of it's release. It did not disappoint. What a fascinating account of the adventures of Melburnian 'Chubbie' Miller, the first woman to fly from England to Australia (as a passenger) in a flimsy open cockpit biplane. These were the early days of aviation and the accounts of some of Chubbie's flights, without good compasses, reliable maps and proper landing strips are almost unbelievable ...more
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
An amazing story of an Australian woman who became a flying ace, one who broke records and competed in Powder Puff Derbys.

Jessie (Chubbie) Miller is a woman that I am sure many readers have never heard of. But, by using Chubbie’s own journals, the author has brought her to life. And A fascinating life she did have.

Even though Chubbie had never flown, she became a co pilot on a trip from England to Australia in 1927. The pilot, Bill Lancaster, would become her best friend and lover , the man who
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a true story of adventure, danger and romance. Jessie "Chubbie" Miller from Australia was a 1920s housewife who became an aviator, a thriller-seeker and a heartbreaker. During the golden age of aviation she became a record-breaker by winner races, even beating out Amelia Earhart. She also became the world's first female test pilot. This book was a very fascinating read for me as I have read 3 other books about early female aviators
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Picked this book up in the local Post Office - it was $10, cheap for Melbourne prices. Read it on the plane to Vietnam. Despite it being a good sized book - it was a quick read. very interesting, flowed well, lot's of facts and historic Women's aviation is always a great topic. They were dogged from day one and never gave up - unless of course you are thinking it's 2018 and women pilots are still a huge minority...
Wasn't sure what to expect, but this woman's life was very interesting, many twist
Samantha Battams
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book on an early female aviator, especially as I had just finished my book (with Les Parsons/Malcolm Riley) on Pioneer Aviator Captain Harry Butler from South Australia (The Red Devil, forthcoming 2019 - Wakefield Press) and delved into aviation history. It was a time when so many of the early aviators were men trained in WW1 - so it was great to read about the early women aviators, their races and other female aviators of the time.
This book was really easy to read
May 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
A story of two halves - (i) Chubbie's (Jessie) introduction to flying and the gender imbalances she faced and (ii) Bill's trial and final flight. Well researched but I only finished it because it was a book club choice.
PS: After the author's strong feminist views in the first half, I was surprised to see Chubbie described as Mrs Keith Miller on the book's cover. Some inconsistency?
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted so much to enjoy this, being an intersection of numerous topics I find fascinating (true crime, pioneering women, and early aviation). But it felt tedious at times, and despite acknowledging that Chubbie Miller kept diaries and left numerous letters behind, it was sorely lacking in communicating her thoughts and feelings or a sense of her as a woman.
Adam Windsor
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, non-fiction
A thoroughly interesting read about one of the pioneers of women in aviation. It's something of a bittersweet tale overall, and it ends a bit abruptly, but it is fascinating to see the various (mis)adventures that "Chubbie" went through. ...more
Jan 06, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a very fun and interesting story. I knew nothing about Chubbie Miller, nor anything about aviation history, before starting this. I quite enjoyed reading both about her sense of adventure, and the difficulties she faced as a woman in a male dominated field. It seemed to be very well researched too. I found I had to really pay attention in some of the sections to keep the story straight, particularly during the Powder Puff Derby race, but it was worth the effort.
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Liked the first flying bit, wasn't a fan of the love triangle court trial bit. ...more
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fabulous book about a fabulous lady. Well done, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
A briskly written look at the adult life of Chubbie Miller and her amazing adventures. This book pulled me right in and kept my attention until the end. A delightful way to visit the past.
Kelly Fernandez
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a wonderful and incredible woman! Ashamed that I hadn't heard of her. Thank you for writing this important book ☺️ ...more
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Carol Baxter is the prize-winning author of three popular histories with a criminal bent – 'An Irresistible Temptation', 'Breaking the Bank' and 'Captain Thunderbolt and His Lady' – all of which have been published to critical acclaim in her native Australia. Previously, she was General Editor of the Biographical Database of Australia and, before that, Project Officer of the Australian Biographica ...more

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