Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Lady At The O.K. Corral by Ann Kirschner - Book Review

About The Book:

The author of the acclaimed Sala's Gift delivers a definitive biography of Josephine Marcus Earp, a Jewish woman from New York who became the common-law wife of famed lawman and gambler Wyatt Earp.

For nearly fifty years, Josephine Sarah Marcus Earp lived with the most famous lawman of the Old West. How did this aspiring actress and dancer—a Jewish girl from New York—land in Tombstone, Arizona, and steal the heart of Wyatt Earp? In this fascinating biography, Ann Kirschner brings Josephine out of the shadows of history to tell her full story—a spirited and colorful tale of ambition, adventure, self-invention, and romance. Kirschner offers a rare look at a woman's life on the frontier and sheds new light on the iconic gunfight that made Wyatt Earp a legend, revealing Josephine's place at its center.

Lady at the O.K. Corral introduces a vivacious woman with a magnetic personality who was equally at home in the deserts of the American Southwest and the boomtowns of the Alaskan Gold Rush; in the opulent hotels of San Francisco; in mining camps, casinos, racetracks, and boxing arenas; and on Hollywood back lots visiting Cecil B. DeMille and Samuel Goldwyn.

Spanning more than half a century, this engaging narrative biography brings Josephine to the forefront of her own story and offers a fresh look at a remarkable era in American history.

My Thoughts:

I was so excited about reading and reviewing this book - I've always been interested in the people involved in the history of the Old West, particularly those who were in Tombstone during the era of Wyatt Earp and Doc. Holliday.   So it's with a heavy heart that I have to tell you that I was so disappointed in this book.

While the author does tell the story of Josephine Marcus Earp, the purported final wife of Wyatt Earp, it relies on too many second-hand references and quite a bit of blather about people who, yes - were involved with or revolved around Josephine Marcus, but really had no bearing on her actual story.  There was a lot of history to dig through with this book, but the majority of information is about the men of the time, and I would have loved to see a little more about the actual lady herself.

And as to the photographs offered, there were a few of Josephine in her older years, but few of her younger days, and the author includes one portrait that has been verified as NOT being Marcus at all. So that was also disappointing.

This is a great book for a reference to the era, but as far as being an entrancing book about a unique woman, it could have been done better, in my opinion.

About The Author:

Ann Kirschner is university dean of Macaulay Honors College at the City University of New York. She began her career as a lecturer in Victorian literature at Princeton University, where she earned her PhD. A writer of wide-ranging interests, she is the author of Sala's Gift and an innovator in education, media, and technology. She lives in New York City with her family.

I purchased this book for my personal collection. I was not compensated for my opinion.

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