By Richard W. Etulain


This exhaustive bibliographical reference often is the first cease for an individual trying to find Calamity Jane in print, movie, or photograph—and desirous to understand how trustworthy these resources should be. Richard W. Etulain, popular western-U.S. historian and the writer of a up to date biography of this charismatic determine, enumerates and assesses the main necessary resources on Calamity Jane’s existence and legend in newspapers, magazines, journals, books, and flicks, in addition to historic and govt archives.

Etulain starts with a short biography of Martha Canary, aka Calamity Jane (1856–1903), then analyzes the origins and progress of her legends. The resources, Etulain exhibits, demonstrate 3 types of Calamity Jane. within the preferred one, she used to be a Wild lady of the outdated West who helped push a roaring frontier via its ultimate levels. this can be the Calamity Jane who fought Indians, marched with the army, and took at the undesirable men. Early in her existence she additionally was hoping to include the pioneer lady, looking marriage and a solid family members and residential. a 3rd, later model made up of Calamity an angel of mercy who reached out to the bad and nursed smallpox sufferers not anyone else could help.

The hyperbolic journalism of the previous West, in addition to dime novels and the stretchers Calamity herself informed in her interviews and autobiography, formed her legends via a lot of the 20 th century. a few of the sensational early bills of Calamity’s lifestyles, Etulain notes, have been in line with rumor and rumour. In illuminating the position of the Deadwood Dick dime novel sequence and different pulp fiction in shaping what we know—or imagine we know—of the yankee West, Etulain underscores one among his attention-grabbing issues: the ability of well known culture.

The made from 20 years’ hard work sifting truth from falsehood or distortion, this bibliography and reader’s advisor comprises short discussions of approximately each item’s contents, in addition to a terse, unique evaluate of its reliability.

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