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Lady at the O.K. Corral: The True Story of Josephine Marcus Earp

by Ann Kirschner

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727295,499 (3.44)1
For nearly fifty years she was the common-law wife of Wyatt Earp, yet Josephine Sarah Marcus Earp has nearly been erased from Western lore. Kirschner brings Josephine out of the shadows of history to tell her tale: a spirited and colorful tale of ambition, adventure, self-invention, and devotion; from the post-Civil War years to World War II, and from New York to the Arizona Territory to old Hollywood.… (more)
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This is less a biography about Josephine Earp and more about the attempt to white wash the history of the old west and the part the Earps played in it. Josephine was constantly concerned about her own past and kept it buried as well.
DeBlank does a good job describing all the attempts to write a biography of Wyatt Earp by various authors as well as making television shows and movies and the role Josephine played in keeping secrets. ( )
  book58lover | Apr 19, 2019 |
A fun and interesting story about a fun and interesting person. This book is an excellent disclosure about celebrity, media,history and the transition of America into the current era (from which we are digitally passing now). The author is clear, concise and the prose flows with grace. Very glad I read it. Having been a student of history Ithis book impressed me more than ever that no historian can nail it all down. Humanity is too gray to be preserved in black ink on white paper, or as in this Kindle version, the digital equivalent. For this lesson I highly recommend this tome. As a fourth generation native Arzonan, with a history of playground memories of Earp and Tombstone and The Bucket of Blood Saloon in Northern Arizona Holbrook, every page was fun! ( )
  DonaldPowell | Feb 5, 2019 |
Excellent job presenting facts. Good presentation in the narrative. Notes, sources and index make this book a good reference. ( )
  rayub | Nov 29, 2017 |
Poor Josephine. She lived almost all of her life in Wyatt Earp’s shadow – even “The True Story of Her Life” is mostly about Wyatt. I found this to be a long and depressing read, detailing how Josephine followed Wyatt around like a puppy, living a very lonely, child-less existence, constantly in fear of being found out (She and Wyatt were not legally wed and he left his previous common law wife, Mattie, who spiraled down into addiction, prostitution, and suicide).

Poor Josephine. Her life is a cautionary tale about the importance of financial planning, Wyatt’s rootless existence as a saloon-keeper and gambler left her as a lonely and practically penniless widow, relying on the kindness of relatives to survive.

I really wish this book had pictures, but reading revealed that most of the items from the day were either lost in various calamities or scammed from her. Poor Josephine. Her squabbles with the other Earps and the various authorized and unauthorized biographers had the feel of one of those trashy scandal shows.
( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
Well-researched and meticulously written story about Wyatt Earp's third and last common law wife. It's more then just Tombstone. It's 50 years of desert and tents and icebergs and 24-hour sun; family in San Francisco; loyal friends . . . That a Polish Jew from San Francisco found her way to Tombstone and spent her life roaming around the country with Wyatt Earp is truly remarkable. ( )
  bogopea | Jul 8, 2014 |
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Epigraph
Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there.

—Nora Ephron, Wellesley College commencement address
I don't have to speak, she defends me.

—Robbie Robertson, "Up on Cripple Creek"
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For Joey, my first hero
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"Did you know that Wyatt Earp was buried in a Jewish cemetery?"
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For nearly fifty years she was the common-law wife of Wyatt Earp, yet Josephine Sarah Marcus Earp has nearly been erased from Western lore. Kirschner brings Josephine out of the shadows of history to tell her tale: a spirited and colorful tale of ambition, adventure, self-invention, and devotion; from the post-Civil War years to World War II, and from New York to the Arizona Territory to old Hollywood.

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