Introduction

Born in 1829, Lucy Ann taught herself to shoot at the age of 10 in order to earn the money needed for tuition to school. To escape from a forced marriage, Lucy Ann dressed in men's clothes and went out into the world as Joseph Israel (or La-Roi) Lobdell. Her book, The Narrative of the Female Hunter of Delaware County, explained that she had to live as a man in order to earn a decent living, and then presented a feminist manifesto for equal pay for women's work.

Twice, Lobdell enjoyed modest financial success working as a man, but both times was outted for having a female body and driven from the communities he had lived in. Around 1859, Joe Lobdell met Marie Louise Perry while at the Poor House in Delhi, New York. The pair escaped and was married as man and wife. For nearly fifteen years, the couple lived in the woods, surviving by Joe's wilderness and hunting skills. But Joe's reputation as a marksman brought him unwanted notoriety, and once revealed as Lucy Ann Lobdell, the Female Hunter, he was arrested frequently on charges of vagrancy whenever he entered town to trade for supplies. Marie, lady-like and feminine, was not arrested and was known to write petitions begging the judge to release her beloved husband.
The Book

A Strange Sort of Being traces the evolution of Lucy, outspoken nineteenth century feminist, into Joe, adventurous hunter, teacher, and husband to Marie. After a life of unparalleled domestic freedom and utter poverty, Joe's incarceration in an insane asylum for gender nonconformity has been fodder for analysis for over 100 years.

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The Author

Bambi Lobdell received her Bachelor's in Secondary English Education from SUNY Oneonta and a Masters and PhD in English from Binghamton University. In addition to her work with Medieval Literature, Greek Drama, Mythology, and Folklore, Dr. Lobdell studied gender and queer theories in order to fully research the life of Lucy /Joseph Lobdell.

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