Some historical figures are riddles wrapped in enigmas wrapped in a vest. Roberta Cowell is one of them. Raised as a boy, Roberta Cowell was a racing car driver, nearly an accidental assassin, and a World War II fighter pilot and a race car driver again before realising she was a transgender woman.
Publish Date: May 12, 2021
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Some historical figures are riddles wrapped in enigmas wrapped in a vest. Roberta Cowell is one of them. Raised as a boy, Roberta Cowell was a racing car driver, nearly an accidental assassin, and a World War II fighter pilot and a race car driver again before realising she was a transgender woman. Thus began her next grand plan to have her true sex (her words) realised, and her body match her mind.
Thanks to Erin for providing the voice of Roberta Cowell. Erin is a transgender actress, musician and historian based in Victoria.
This episode contains discussion of intersexuality, transgender issues, transphobia, outdated language with regards to transgender and intersex people, facial injuries, war injuries, Nazi peacetime atrocities, Nazi wartime atrocities and some bad language.
We have elected to use male pronouns for Roberta before she began her transition, as she herself did in her autobiography. Discussion of Roberta after she began her transition will then use female pronouns.
All efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented in this podcast however with the nature of historical research, there may be mistakes or inconsistencies.
The man Nicola references towards the end of the episode, John Cade, was an Australian doctor and former POW who discovered the use of lithium in treating people with bipolar disorder. Learn more about him in this ABC Conversations podcast:
You can also read the book (there’s only one) on Cade’s life, Finding Sanity, by Greg de Moore and Ann Westmore.
For more information on the podcast, go to womenofwarpod.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @womenofwarpod for updates, sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes shenanigans.
Intro and Outro Music: Frosty Forest by Shane Ivers - https://www.silvermansound.com