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December 17 , 2008

Legends of the West: The Life and Legacy of Calamity Jane


*Includes pictures of Calamity Jane, Wild Bill Hickok, and other important people and places in her life. *Explains the true origins of the nickname Calamity Jane. *Explains the facts, legends and myths of Calamity Jane's life to separate fact from fiction.*Includes a Bibliography for further reading.*Includes a Table of Contents. “When fired upon Capt. Egan was shot. I was riding in advance and on hearing the firing turned in my saddle and saw the Captain reeling in his saddle as though about to fall. I turned my horse and galloped back with all haste to his side and got there in time to catch him as he was falling. I lifted him onto my horse in front of me and succeeded in getting him safely to the Fort. Capt Egan on recovering, laughingly said: 'I name you Calamity Jane, the heroine of the plains.' I have borne that name up to the present time."Calamity JaneSpace may be the final frontier, but no frontier has ever captured the American imagination like the “Wild West”, which still evokes images of dusty cowboys, outlaws, gunfights, gamblers, and barroom brawls over 100 years after the West was settled. A constant fixture in American pop culture, the 19th century American West continues to be vividly and colorful portrayed not just as a place but as a state of mind. In Charles River Editors Legends of the West series, readers can get caught up to speed on the lives of Americas most famous frontier figures in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known. The most famous woman of the Wild West was also possibly the most colorful and mysterious. “Considered a remarkable good shot and a fearless rider for a girl of my age”, Calamity Jane claimed to be a veteran of the Indian Wars, a scout, and the wife of Wild Bill Hickok, all on the way to becoming a dime novel heroine. While all of those legends have stuck, its unclear to what extent if any they are actually true, and even her contemporaries doubted the authenticity of her statements. More than anything, people in frontier towns like Deadwood looked on with amusement at the girl who was more often than not drunk and was described by one of Wild Bills friends as “simply a notorious character, dissolute and devilish.” Her frequent drinking binges and her insistence that messing with her would “court calamity” had helped establish her nickname even before she arrived in Deadwood in the mid-1870s.Ultimately, Calamity Janes tall tales, eccentric personality, and association with Wild Bill would all make her a popular figure in the last quarter of the 19th century, and she became so well known that she started taking part in traveling shows of the kind made famous by Buffalo Bill Cody, where spectators could hear her colorfully (and drunkenly) talk about her life in the Wild West, with each telling stretching the truth ever further. Her legacy continued to crystallize after her death and eventually turn her into a legend, immortalized in countless dime novels, books, TV and the silver screen, helping make some of her contemporaries and surroundings notorious as well. Legends of the West: The Life and Legacy of Calamity Jane chronicles the Western icons life and examines the myths and legends in an attempt to separate fact from fiction. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events in his life, you will learn about Calamity Jane like you never have before, in no time at all.
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