A high-spirited biography of a feisty lady -- the legendary Silver Queen of Colorado and her sensational rise and more sensational fall from the gaudy, bejeweled ranks of Colorado's mining magnificos. Burke admires her unreservedly: as the bewitching teenager who married one Harvey Doe to escape from the middle dass respectability of Oshkosh; as the young adventuress ""Baby Doe"" who set out to become the mistress of Horace Tabor, the vulgarian bonanza king of the silver mines; as Tabor's dazzling and devoted wife, the woman who helped him squander his greenback millions in a style which rivaled Lorenzo the Magnificent. Most of all Burke admires her in adversity as the tough old woman in miner's boots and old pants single-handedly working the played-out rock heap which had once made her the most glamorous woman in the Old West. Was Baby Doe just a frivolous, good-time hussy? Most emphatically, no, says her champion. What propelled her was a splendid dream, sheer love of conquest and her delight in mocking conventions. Rich or poor, with head held high all her life she outraged the proper matrons of her day from the mining camps where she worked with pick and shovel to the grand halls of Washington, D.C. where President Chester Arthur danced at her wedding. Aside from Baby's inimitable never-say-die personality (Burke has patched a lot of his story from her own always indiscreet scrapbooks and diaries), Burke captures fully the gilded frenzy of the mining towns in an age when plutocrats reigned, anything -- well, almost anything -- was for sale and only a fool was content to remain poor and obscure. That .Baby persisted for almost forty years in loneliness and want working her claims on!y adds to her stature. Surely Burke's injected new life into the old girl.