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A fictionalized autobiography of Arizona's "Bandit Queen" describes the life of a woman who fled her abusive spouse to seek the anonymity and comparative safety of the Arizona Territory, only to wind up the first woman sent to the Yuma Penitentiary
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Coleman forges a first-rate western from the real-life story of Pearl Taylor Hart, the first woman to serve time in the infamous Yuma Penitentiary. Pearl left her middle-class background behind when she married gambler Frank Hart, who abused her and lived off the money she made singing at the Chicago World's Fair. When the abuse became intolerable, Pearl hopped a freight train and rode until she landed in Phoenix, where Frank found her and continued the abuse. Eventually, with Frank off to the Spanish-American War, desperation led Pearl to rob a stagecoach. The subsequent jail time, escape, and recapture brought her to Yuma. Coleman, a Golden Spur recipient, carefully re-creates the life of the "Woman Bandit" in this compelling first-person narrative. Hart emerges, not as a ruthless outlaw, but as a woman drawn to crime as a means of survival in a culture that forced women into one of two roles: wife or whore. Pearl Hart didn't accept either option. Fine historical fiction. Wes Lukowsky
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Book Description Five Star, 1998. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110786209879