Sunday, December 7, 2008

Soiled Doves - Anne Seagraves

Anne Seagraves doesn't seem to have a webpage, however her books are available everywhere.  Mine was bought in Tombstone, AZ as a half birthday present, half gag gift.  Thanks, Red!

Soiled Doves: Prostitution in the Early West caught my eye in several stores during my trip to Tombstone, AZ this past October.  Having grown up in Las Vegas, NV, the topic wasn't unheard of by me, nor was it one of the things that was looked down on or disapproved of by me.  I mean, you do what you've go to do sometimes, right?  While in Tombstone, I learned two things that I probably should have known but surprised me anyway.  #1: Both Wyatt Earp's wife, Mattie, and his later wife, Josephine, were both prostitutes.  #2: Doc Holiday's girl, Kate (aka Big Nose Kate), was one as well.

Now, that probably shouldn't have surprised me, but it did.  After reading this glimpse back in time, I came to understand just how much these women were needed in the Old West.  Not only that, but they were often the first to supply money, time, or a place to rest for the ill, injured, and anyone affected by tragedy.

Life wasn't easy as a prostitute wasn't a citizen, ignored by the law and by society.  However, they were relied upon by many in the communities they lived and worked in.

I would have liked to had more in-depth stories on the women featured in this book, however, it was a good, educational read either way.  Well-written and very well researched.  I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in the women of the old west.

2 comments:

Belinda McBride said...

Hey Amy, this book is one of my "go to" research books. I also found a new "real life" hero in this book: Donaldina Cameron. I would love to see a movie about her.

Crazy Lady said...

YES! The things she did to help those poor Chinese girls was not just ballsy but amazing!