Women of the Western Frontier in Fact, Fiction and Film


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About the Book

This work provides factual accounts of women of the Old West in contrast to their depictions on film and in fiction. The lives of Martha “Calamity Jane” Canary and Belle “The Bandit Queen” Starr are first detailed; one discovers that Starr was indeed friends with notorious bank robbers of the time, including Jesse James and Cole Younger, but was herself primarily a cattle and horse thief. Wives and lovers of some of the West’s most famous outlaws are covered in the second section along with real-life female entertainers, prostitutes and gamblers. Native Americans, entrepreneurs, doctors, reformers, artists, writers, schoolteachers, and other such “respectable” women are covered in the third section.

About the Author(s)

Ron Lackmann, a retired teacher, has contributed numerous articles to such publications as Screen Greats and Afternoon TV. He lives in Stone Ridge, New York.

Bibliographic Details

Ron Lackmann
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 215
Bibliographic Info: 74 photos, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006 [1997]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2845-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction     01

1. Belle Starr and Calamity Jane: The Old West’s Two Most Famous Women     5

2. Gunfighters’ Wives and Lovers, and Female Outlaws     37

3. Female Entertainers Who Toured the Western Frontier     69

4. Prostitutes, Madams and Gambling Ladies of the Wild West     83

5. Remarkable Respectable Women of the Western Frontier     105

Appendix A:

Selected Western Silent Films Featuring Women in Prominent Roles     151

Appendix B:

Selected Western Sound Films Featuring Women in Prominent Roles     153

Appendix C:

Western Television Series Featuring Women in Prominent Roles     186

Appendix D:

Twelve Celebrated Locales of the Western Frontier     190

Bibliography     195

Index     199

Book Reviews & Awards

“highly readable…a handy resource”—Journal of Women’s History; “recommended”—Public Library Quarterly; “a serious, well researched documentary history of a wide selection of personalities…fascinating contemporary photographs…difficult to put down”—Reference Reviews; “succeeds in providing a general overview of many fascinating women and the challenges they faced in the Old West’s early days”—Film & History; “a lot of eye-opening information…interesting”—Past Times; “entertaining, educational…wow…fascinating…buy this one…I am totally thrilled with the accuracy of information”—Penguin Comics; “fascinating”—Film Review; “excellent”—Big Reel; “should give much reading pleasure”—Wrangler’s Roost; “entertaining”—Wild West.