Past Meetup

CRC Book Club: "Lady at the O.K. Corral"

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It's summer, so the CRC book club is going West with a novel that tells and understory of the fabled shootout which rooted Wyatt Earp deep in American lore. "Lady at the O.K. Corral" by Ann Kirshner is not about the famous Earp, however. It's about Josephine Marcus, who was for nearly 50 years Earp's common-law wife. Marcus seems an unlikely partner for a mining camp leader - a Polish Jew, she ran away from home at 18 and, with her good looks and stellar figure, performed with a traveling troupe of actors. When touring the Arizona Territory, she starts a romance with the local Sheriff, and then.... who walks in but the gun slinging Earp! Apparently Earp is the only one who emerged unscathed from the gunfight that ensued - including Earp's common law wife at the time, whom he abandons for Marcus. A life full of both thrill and squalor begin - and stories bloom of the two Earps that are more or less true (and sometimes totally false)., most told by Marcus who, loyal to the end, attempts to correct any perceptions of her man as a murderous marauder. Author Kirschner says she tries to rehabilitate her subject as an "artist of adventure."