Calamity Jane: The Woman and the Legend
McLaird most thoroughly debunks all Calamity Jane tall tales, along with my favorite, the Doris Day movie. This is a meticulously researched book that reveals not only the story of the real Calamity Jane, aka Martha Canary, but delves into how all the legends and tall tales sprang up in the first place. That, perhaps, is the book’s only flaw, for the author takes such interest in proving what wasn’t reported accurately about her that the reader tends to lose sight of who she really was. Still, what does emerge is a picture of a hard-living, yet warm-hearted alcoholic, inspiration for dime novels and Hollywood musicals alike.