The thing is, there are a lot of islands for sale, worldwide. Some are in the Caribbean, some along the Pacific Rim, some others in the Mediterranean. There are often restrictions and limitations on the purchase, and much of the time, there is no social history at all. But Great Whale Cay
breaks this stereotype, as it is an island in the Caribbean with an exceptional social history, centered around one eccentric, memorable person. According to Kate Summerscale,
the author who wrote and published her biography, called The Queen Of Whale Cay
, Marion "Joe" Carstairs was born in London in 1900, and was a cigar-smoking, cross-dressing, motorboat-racing woman, who had tumultuous affairs with leading actresses, including Tallulah Bankhead
, Mabel Mercer
and Marlene Dietrich.
With her close-cropped hair and tailored Savile Row suits, Carstairs was delighted when anyone actually mistook her for a man. An heir to the Standard Oil fortune, she abandoned civilization at the age of 34 to become the self-appointed ruler of Great Whale Cay, a 5 1/2 mile long island in the Bahamas. There she lived for more than 40 years, attended by a kaleidoscopic parade of beautiful women, avid sports and fishing enthusiasts, royalty, hearty partygoers -- and a small leather doll named Lord Tod Wadley
, whom she treated as her best friend and lifelong companion.