A Woman to Know: Baroness Maie Casey

[Maie was] Napoleonic. — Lady Drysdale

[Maie was] Napoleonic. — Lady Drysdale

(image via Australian National Portrait Gallery)

In London they knew her as “hostess of the Casey Season.” In Australia, one diplomat deemed her the country’s own “Lady Macbeth.” After her wedding, one guest remarked that she had “a saucer jaw and the look of a pony about to bolt.”

In her 92 years of life, Baroness Maie Casey traversed multiple continents and led multiple lives. In Europe, she acted as a patron of the arts and wrote multiple novels and memoirs of her own. In Australia, her native country, she worked tirelessly for the continued ascension of her politician husband, Baron Richard Casey. In India and Egypt, she worked as a war nurse and helped establish her husband’s political clout overseas. In Washington, DC, she took on the role of supreme dinner hostess, leading many to assume (perhaps correctly) that the Baroness and not the Baron was the true ambassador of Australia.

But across all these continents, Maie wanted to fly. In 1950, she joined the Ninety-Nines, an all-women aviatrix club that counted Amelia Earhart herself as a member. Before Maie died in 1983, she competed in air races and continued flying her Cessna well into her retirement years.

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