Library Journal Review
Calamity Jane told tall tales about herself, winning acclaim as a storyteller--performer in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. The real life of this daring gal was probably less heroic but just as fascinating. As told by Perrissin (Cape Horn), Martha Jane Cannary (1852-1903) grew up caring for five siblings, traveling west with her widowed father but refusing second-wife status when a Mormon proposed. Going off on her own, often in male garb, she drove oxen teams as a bullwhacker, rode for the Pony Express, and worked as a scout, nurse, laundress, waitress, and barkeep. Danger was always close: drunken men, Indian parties, sickness, accidents, enticements of alcohol and gambling, plus unsanitary conditions and childbirth. Jane had several children, one reportedly fathered by Wild Bill Hickok via a passionate -romance. Blanchin's (Quand vous pensiez que j'étais mort) smudgy ink drawings capture beautifully the realism of frontier life, with its unrelenting grime and its outcasts and eccentrics. VERDICT As a mature-readers supplement to Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" books, this Angoulême Award winner makes a splendid volume for those interested in the Old West, women's history, and American history of the 1800s.-MC © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.