Friday, March 29, 2013

Lady at the O.K. Corral by Ann Kirschner

My biggest exposure to Josephine was watching the movie Tombstone.  There was a thread of truth in that movie, but her life was much bigger than I expected.  This book shows you the woman's life and how responsible she was for much of what happened in Wyatt Earp's life.  They made a good team and she was lost when he died.

HarperCollins sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

Reading this biography made me admire Josephine.  She was a young woman when she moved to Tombstone and she believed Sheriff Johnny Behan was going to marry her.  It was a lie.  Wyatt appeared to have the morals of an alley cat.  He spent his entire life visiting whore houses (sometimes even running them) and when he met Josie, he was still married to Mattie.  That didn't slow him down, he started an affair with Josephine, too.

The O.K. Corral shaped Wyatt's life.  He lost one brother and another was injured.  While he was a marshall several times, he always seemed to walk on the other side of law when it was convenient.  He sent his family home to the parents and went after the killers of Morgan.  He got them.  Then he left Tombstone, taking Josie with him.

She survived camping in the desert, gold mining in Alaska, and going from riches to poor.  She did her best to keep Wyatt's reputation clean and didn't discuss her own.  She told people they were married but is there no proof of that.  She also stayed with Wyatt until his death despite his short-comings.  They were together almost fifty years.

The west and the people in it were changing in those fifty years.  I think she did surprisingly well at trying to control her life.

Why not read this biography?  You'll learn more about Josephine than has ever before been revealed.  You'll also learn that Wyatt is buried in a Jewish cemetery in San Francisco.

Happy reading.    

No comments: