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ebook / ISBN-13: 9780349008318

Price: £25

ON SALE: 26th May 2022

Genre: Humanities / History

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“Myth and misunderstanding spring from the American frontier as readily as rye grass from sod, and – like the wiry grass – seem as difficult to weed out and discard.”

The true-life story of women’s experiences in the ‘Wild West’ is more gripping, more heart-rending, and more stirring than all the movies, novels, folk-legends and ballads that popular imagination has been able to create.

Whether they were the hard-drinking hard-living poker players and prostitutes of the new boom towns, ‘ordinary’ wives and mothers walking two thousand miles across the prairies pulling their handcarts behind them, Chinese slave-brides working in laundries, or the Native American women displaced by the mass migration of the ‘whites’ to their lands, all have one trait in common: that of extreme resilience and courage in the face of the unknown.

Reading the extraordinary accounts they have left behind them, their experiences seem as strange to us today as it must have been to have lived through them, perhaps even stranger. They were put to the test, in terms of sheer survival, in ways that we can only dimly imagine.

Praise for Katie Hickman
Fascinating . . . I was swept along by Hickman’s concise chapters and her crisp, wry style,’ The Times

‘Absolutely brilliant . . . remarkable women, until now almost unknown. I was so gripped I couldn’t put it down’ Antonia Fraser

‘Goes beneath the surface of imperial male history . . . a cast of extraordinary women. Wonderful’ Anita Anand

What's Inside

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In the past 50 years there has been an explosion of scholarly research that has served to dismantle those hoary old myths about the Wild West as a white male space in which women looked worried or sashayed into a saloon bar looking for trouble. In Brave Hearted Hickman makes deft and sensitive use of this new material. The result is a glorious patchwork . . . does these extraordinary women proud
Kathryn Hughes, Sunday Times
A vivid, fascinating rag rug of cultural history that braids together stories usually kept apart . . . Gripping, eye-opening, enlightening
Emma Donoghue
This book delivers a blazing 360 degree view of the American story. Each page is packed with gumption and grit and genius
Bettany Hughes
Katie Hickman has gathered a collection of intriguingly vivid first-hand accounts written by some of the women who ventured west. . . Hickman's Brave Hearted puts the rough texture of personal experience back into the big narrative of how the west was won. Along the way, she shows us what was lost.
Lucy Lethbridge, Literary Review
In this richly evocative book, Hickman takes us to the crux of women's experiences in that fast- changing world, where opportunities for women were opening up in an often lawless atmosphere of greed, gambling, drinking and whoring. It was a rough ride, and the survivors were heroines, all of them.
Daily Mail