And I’d Do It Again by Aimée Crocker

I don’t remember how I first stumbled upon Aimée Crocker’s Wikipedia page, but as soon as I did I knew I had to find out more about this woman:

“Aimée Crocker (December 5, 1864 – February 7, 1941) was an American heiress, princess, Bohemian, world traveler, mystic and author best known for her adventures in the Far East, for her extravagant parties in San Francisco, New York and Paris and for her collections of husbands and lovers, adopted children, Buddhas, pearls, tattoos and snakes.”Wikipedia

And I'd Do It Again by Aimée CrockerIn other words, she sounded like my long-lost twin. Then I discovered she’d written an autobiography called And I’d Do It Again, so I ordered it and read it, and it was just as excellent as I thought it’d be.

Aimée Crocker travelled extensively and grabbed every opportunity that crossed her path. Inevitably this put her in some difficult and downright dangerous situations at times, but she dealt with it all with a level of even-headed humour that anyone would find admirable.

Her observations about the world are fascinating, not least because she has a tendency to notice little details:

“I have been told by my friends that, for a person who had travelled as much as I have, I retain less of the obvious things and more of the underneath things than anybody they know.”

An advocate of shared experience, intrigued by mysticism and magic, an explorer of countries and cultures, Aimée Crocker had an appreciation of the things she discovered on her travels which shines through every page.

Aimée Crocker with snake
Aimée Crocker with snake

I am absolutely sure that if she were alive today we’d end up becoming friends. As it is, I’ll just have to re-read her memoir every so often to remind myself that there have always been excellent women living wonderfully, mysteriously and eclectically.

Perhaps I’ll even be one of them.

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