THE EARP BROTHERS OF TOMBSTONE by Frank Waters

THE EARP BROTHERS OF TOMBSTONE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Thanks largely to television, Wyatt Earp, frontier bully, gangster, gambler, suspected road-agent and brutal killer of the early 1880's, is today's one of America's national heroes. This lengthy book, written 25 years ago in an effort to refute Stuart Lake's glamorous biography of Earp, purports to tell the true story of Wyatt and his five swaggering brothers, their women, and their friend, the ruthless and notorious consumptive killer, Doc Holliday. Basing his narrative on the personal reminiscences of Virgil Earp's widow, who died in 1947, the author traces the wanderings of the five Missouri-born Earp brothers, the restless and frequently lawless ""Earp Gang"", through the Kansas cow-towns of Dodge and Ellsworth to Tombstone, Arizona, - in the late 1870's America's richest gold-camp. Here the Earps became involved with a gang of cattle-rustlers and stage-coach robbers, the Clantons. Breaking with the Clantons, probably over a division of spoils, the Earps -- Virgil and Wyatt, and Doc Holliday -- shot it out with them on March 15, 1881, in the O.K. Corral, a bloody gang fight endowed with spurious fame by Stuart Lake, to whom Wyatt, at the age of 80, told the story. Wyatt was always good at self-advertisement. Although the author of this book states that twice suits were brought against him to prevent its publication, it is unlikely that his leaden-footed narrative will impress admirers of Wyatt Earp, but by reason of its bibliography and notes, if nothing else, it should prove an addition to the documents of American frontier history. The Earps still lack an inspired biographer.

Pub Date: June 16th, 1960
Publisher: Clarkson N. Potter