Mrs. Earp (Monahan)

Mrs. Earp: Wives & Lovers of the Earp Brothers
Sherry Monahan, 2013
Two Dot/Globe Pequot Press
176 pp.
ISBN-13: 9780762788354

When most people hear the name Earp, they think of Wyatt, Virgil, Morgan, and sometimes the lesser known James and Warren. They also had a half-brother named Newton, who lived a fairly quiet, uneventful life.

While it’s true these men made history on their own, they all had a Mrs. Earp behind them—some more than one.

One could argue some of these women helped shape the future of the Earp brothers and may have even been the fuel behind some of the fires they encountered. This book collectively traces the lives of the women who shared the title of Mrs. Earp either by name or relationship.

Author Bio
Where—the state of Illinois, USA
Raised—the state of New Jersey
Currently—lives in the state of North Carolina

Sherry Monahan is the incoming president (June 2014) of Western Writers of America and the author of several books on the Victorian West, including Mrs. Earp, California Vines, Wines & Pioneers, Taste of Tombstone, The Wicked West: Boozers, Cruisers, Gamblers and More and Tombstone's Treasure: Silver Mines & Golden Saloons.

Sherry also writes a "Frontier Fare" column for True West magazine and works as a marketing consultant and professional genealogist. As the "Genie with a Bottle," she traces the genealogy of food and wine. She calls it "Winestry" and says, "History never tasted so good."

She is currently working on Her Fateful Decision: The True Story of Ethel Hertslet (formerly, To California and Back), which is a true story of an aristocratic family who settled the rugged land of Lake County, California, in the 1880s.

She’s been on the History Channel in many shows, including Cowboys and Outlaws: Wyatt Earp, she co-hosted an episode of the Lost Worlds: Sin City of the West (Deadwood), Investigating History and two of the Wild West Tech shows. She was given a Wrangler in the 2010 Western Heritage Awards for her performance in the Cowboys and Outlaws show.

Her "Frontier Fare" column is being turned into a cookbook and will be released in 2015.

Other publications include the Tombstone Times, Tombstone Tumbleweed, Tombstone Epitaph, Arizona Highways, and other freelance works. In addition to her Victorian west books, Sherry has written three local history books on North Carolina towns. They capture the history of Apex, Cary, and Southport through 200+ images and historical details and recollections. (From the author.)

Book Reviews
Much has been written about Wyatt Earp and his last wife, Josie. Now we have a book on all the Earps’ wives, and it is a dandy. Monahan, a veteran Western writer of note, gives us delicious details of the partners of the famous Earp clan. Besides Wyatt’s three (some think four) wives, this entertaining read details Virgil, Morgan, Warren, James and their spouses.

The fleeting, semi-permanent and lasting relationships of the Earp men have been well documented and researched for this effort. The history of these young women is a broadcloth when petticoats accompanied six guns. The hardness of the times and their men speaks volumes of the Old West, and what it might be like to live it on the distaff side.

Many of the Earp women shared the name without benefit of ceremony. But they called themselves “Mrs. Earp,” thus immortalizing their own place in history. The author does an excellent job in fleshing out the Earp wives, most particularly pinning down younger brother Warren’s marriage record, little known before this book.

Monahan, a contributing editor for True West magazine, has perhaps penned her best effort in Mrs. Earp. For all who enjoy the history of the West, this book satisfies an area that is little traveled, and she does it with her usual captivating style.
Scott Dyke - Green Valley News and Sun

Discussion Questions
1. Did you feel emotions towards any of the wives? If so, which ones and why?

2. How are these Victorian women different from women today?

3. Did you have a favorite wife? If so, which one and why?

4. Do you think the author did a good job of telling the wives’ stories?

5. Did the author provide a clear direction for the book in the Introduction?

6. Would you read other books by this author? Why or why not?

7. Do you feel this book should or could be called a Western? Why or why not?

8. Would you read other books dealing with daily life and people who lived in the Victorian West? Why or why not?

9. Has this book broadened your knowledge of women who lived in the Victorian West?

10. Did you notice any similarities between the wives?
(Questions courtesy of the author.)

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