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Books We Love: Calamity Jane: The Life and Legend of Martha Jane Cannary

D. J. Herda offers an insightful look at the life of the well-known woman who was part carnie barker, part actor, and part drunken lout.

July 18, 2018

Calamity Jane: The Life and the Legend of Martha Jane Cannary by D. J. Herda.

Take one rambunctious woman who enjoyed lying about herself to confuse her detractors. Add, many years after her death, the discovery of a collection of letters she wrote to her daughter, even though nobody was sure she had a daughter and the woman was thought to be illiterate. Muddy the water by telling the truth, when the truth contradicts much of what was assumed to be true. The result is a pot of confusion, but Calamity Jane has nobody to blame but herself. Author D. J. Herda takes on the task of sifting through the confusion of the famous, gun-toting, tough-talking, hard-drinking Western icon in his fascinating new book Calamity Jane: The Life and the Legend of Martha Jane Cannary.

Young Martha Jane Cannary began life as a camp follower and street urchin. Parentless by the age of twelve, she morphed into the mother who just as often took employment as a waitress, laundress, or dance hall girl as she did an Indian scout or bullwhacker. Just as likely to wear a dress as she was buckskins, she was impossible to ignore no matter what she wore, particularly after she’d had a few drinks! D. J. Herda offers an insightful look at the life of the well-known woman who was part carnie barker, part actor, and part drunken lout.

Purchase Calamity Jane: The Life and the Legend of Martha Jane Cannary here.

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