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Reviews 265 who between 1833 and 1890 sought adventure in the American West. “My dudes”, says Mr. Sprague, “were comic, but they had more than comedy to offer. They were highly educated, and they had traveled widely. Most of them saw the W est in a broad and fresh perspective.” The book includes accounts of the German Prince Maximilian, whose greatest significance to the West was bringing Karl Bodmer along; the Marquis de Mores of Paris and young Theodore Roosevelt who established neighboring ranches in North Dakota; the enterprising Count Pourtales whose grandiose scheme for Broadmoor near Colorado Springs proved a failure; Isabella Bird, who unexpectedly found romantic adventure in Estes Park and wrote A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains, the best description yet of the beauty of the Rocky Mountains; Grand Duke Alexis of Russia, who hunted buffalo on the plains with Generals Sheridan and Custer, Buffalo Bill Cody, and the Sioux Chief Spotted Tail; and Lord Milton who wintered in southern Canada and crossed the Rockies at Yellowhead Pass, enduring incredible hardship. Perhaps the two sections of the book I found most interesting were about a Scotch veteran of Waterloo and an Irish Earl. “Scotsman on the Green” is a fabulous account of Sir W illiam Drum­ mond Stewart’s adventures in the heart of mountain-man country—he was actually on hand for every rendezvous from 1833-1838 and watched Dr. W hit­ man remove an arrowhead from the back of Jim Bridger at the 1835 rendezvous on the Green. No doubt the most important thing Stewart did was to find in New Orleans a young artist, Alfred Jacob M iller and take him along. M iller’s paintings of Stewart’s activities with mountain men, Indians, and buffaloes in the Rocky Mountain settings are some of the best portrayals of early western life. His two novels, Allowan and Edward Warren, are based on his western adventure. “T he Dude from Limerick” is the chapter on the Earl of Dunraven whose perceptive account of his adventures in the Yellow­ stone region of the Rockies was published in his excellent book, The Great D ivide, recently republished in paperback. H e was responsible for bringing Bierstadt west to paint the Rockies. BRIEF M EN TIO N OF R EPR INTS The Great D ivide: Travels in the U pper Yellowstone in the Summer of 1874. By the Earl of Dunraven. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1967. xxviii + 377 pages, illus., Bison Book, $2.65.) Twenty-eight years after Parkman scouted about with the Sioux and hunted buffalo east of the Rockies, the Earl of Dunraven and his companions dismounted from the U nion Pacific train at Corinne, Utah, and with their guide Jack Omohundro (somewhat like Chatillon) made their way north past Fort Hall to Virginia City, Bozeman, and the Yellowstone River. In recount­ 266 Western American Literature ing his hunting adventures, in portraying the Crow Indians, in describing the fantastic natural spectacles in what is now Yellowstone National Park, Dunraven proved himself a writer of very considerable talent—likely the best of the European dudes, who wrote of their western experiences. I think The Great D ivide stands up very well in comparison with The Oregon Trail; and it far excels the latter in communicating the impact of wilderness experience, in analyzing Indian and American relations, and in the sparkling ironic humor. A Woman of the People. By Benjamin Capps. (Greenwich, Connecticut: Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1968. 224 pages, Crest Book, $.75.) Published first by Duel, Sloan and Pearce in 1966, A Woman of the People is the third novel by Mr. Capps, and it was reviewed in some detail in W estern American Literature, Volume II, number 1 by Robert A. Roripaugh . It deals with the Comanche massacre of settlers in Texas, the capture of two small girls, and their gradual adaptation to Comanche ways. The basic situation of the white captive has been dealt with many times in autobiography and fiction. Seldom do authors treating this problem deal so thoughtfully and so convincingly with the elemental human values as does Mr. Capps— and he finds them in the Indians as well as the white...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 265-266
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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