The Life of Hon. William F. Cody, Known as Buffalo Bill


The Life of Hon. William F. Cody, Known as Buffalo Bill

William F. Cody
Edited and with an introduction by Frank Christianson

The Papers of William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody Series

584 pages
114 illustrations, 3 appendixes


October 2011


$27.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

October 2011


$27.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

What we know of Buffalo Bill Cody (1846–1917) is more myth than man. Yet the stage persona that took audiences by storm was based on the very real encounters of William F. Cody with the American West. This autobiography, infused with the drama of dime novels and stage melodramas that would transform the author into an American icon, recounts a boy’s move to the Kansas territory, where his father hoped to homestead, and his subsequent life on the frontier, following his career from trapper to buffalo hunter to Army scout, guide, and Indian fighter.

Written when Cody was thirty-three years old, this life story captures both the hard reality of frontier life and the sensational image to which a boy of the time might aspire: the Indian fights, buffalo hunting, and Pony Express escapades that popular history contributed to the myth-making of Buffalo Bill. It is this movement between the personal and the mythic, plain facts and tall tales, William F. Cody and Buffalo Bill, that gives this autobiography its fascination and its power.

Based on the original 1879 edition, this volume provides a new introduction, historical materials, and twenty-six additional images. It reveals both the William F. Cody of personal history and the Buffalo Bill of American mythology—and, finally, the curious reality that partakes of both.

For information about the Buffalo Bill Cody archive, visit

Author Bio

Frank Christianson is an associate professor of English at Brigham Young University. He is the author of Philanthropy in British and American Fiction: Dickens, Hawthorne, Eliot, and Howells.

Table of Contents

Series Editor’s Preface
William F. Cody: A Chronology
A Note on the Text
The Life of Hon. William F. Cody, Known as Buffalo Bill
Appendix A: Cody and Visual Culture
Appendix B: Letters
Appendix C: Cody and Celebrity

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