Dakota Midday: 'The Life and Legends of Calamity Jane'

Jan 22, 2015

Calamity Jane is probably the best known woman of the Wild West. She arrived in Deadwood in 1876 and captured the attention of writers and journalists. They shared with newspaper readers across the nation stories about this fearless, unorthodox young woman who cussed, smoked, chewed tobacco, and drank.

The legend of Calamity Jane has endured from 19th century dime novels, through Hollywood films, to the recent HBO series, Deadwood. In his new book, The Life and Legend of Calamity Jane, historian Richard Etulain writes about the real life of Calamity Jane and the myths that have shaped her reputation. Etulain is Professor Emeritus of History and former director of the Center for the American West at the University of New Mexico.