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The Whip is inspired by the true story of a woman, Charlotte “Charley” Parkhurst (1812-1879) who lived most of her extraordinary life as a man in the old west. As a young woman in Rhode Island, she fell in love with a runaway slave and had his child. The destruction of her family drove her west to California, dressed as a man, to track the killer.

Charley became a renowned stagecoach driver for Wells Fargo. She killed a famous outlaw, had a secret love affair, and lived with a housekeeper who, unaware of her true sex, fell in love with her. Charley was the first known woman to vote in America in 1868 (as a man). Her grave lies in Watsonville, California.


About the audio version of

The Whip

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The Whip audio book is now available and read by Emmy nominated Robin Weigert (“Calamity Jane” in HBO’s Deadwood). Weigert also won the 2013 Breakout Performance at the Sundance Film Festival for her role in “Concussion.” The Audio Book was produced by Deyan Audio Services.

The Whip: Audio Book Trailer
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“You won’t know what The Whip means until you read this fascinating book. It’s a piece of the Old West, a part of America’s past, told with amazing authenticity.”
—Thomas Fleming, New York Times best-selling author

“A gripping page-turner explores themes of self-identity, forgiveness, and survival, and captivates the reader from multiple perspectives.”
—Nick Pachelli, Advocate.com