13 photographs, glossary, bibliographic review, index
Myth made her a dancehall entertainer, faro dealer, expert horsewoman, crack shot, and adopted member of the Cherokee Nation. Was her first love Cole Younger, a cousin and associate of Jesse James, and did she bear his child in 1869? And when she settled at Younger’s Bend on the Canadian River in Indian Territory, did she really establish a haven for desperadoes, mastermind a string of criminal enterprises, and entertain a series of lovers, all of whom met with violent ends?
Did the dime novelists invent her flamboyant dress, musical abilities, literary tastes, colorful language, and determined refusal to occupy “a woman’s place”? Or was she an original free spirit whose force of personality and violation of all normal standards of conduct made her the perfect antiheroine of the Western frontier? Burton Rascoe’s classic biography separates the facts from the folklore and traces the sources and afterlives of the fictional accounts published after her mysterious and unsolved murder. Glenda Riley’s introduction adds new evidence to help get behind the layers of oral history, hyperbole, and outright lies.