978-0-252-01466-6 / 9780252014666

Daughters of Joy, Sisters of Misery: Prostitutes in the American West, 1865-90


Publisher:University of Illinois Press



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About the book:

Nineteenth-century prostitutes blended into the American frontier with an easy agreeability. The environment and the women - both bawdy and rollicking - complimented each other perfectly. So natural was their association that those "soiled doves" of the American West have become standard fixtures in the imagery of the frontier. The mere mention of the western saloon elicits a cast of glittering "painted ladies" who move about a noisy crowded bar dispensing earthly fun to a boisterous clientelle.... I differ with those who argue that prostitutes in the West weree warmly reeived in communities during the earliest frontier days and then shunted aside as society stabilized. I believe that the gaudy visibility of frontier prostitutes has been misconstrued as wide-spread social acceptance that simply is not substantiated by historical evidence.

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