4.05 (19 ratings by Goodreads)
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Althouth the Western frontier has been tirelessly represented as "Man's Country", women were there from the beginning. Candace Savage traces the cowgirl back to her origins among the cattle queens, lady bandits and ranchwomen of the mid-to-late 19th century. While proper Victorian ladies sat in their parlours, these female adventurers unlaced their corsets, exchanged their skirts for scandalous "divided" garments, and swung astride ponies. Working as ranch wives, range daughters and ranch owners; they roped cattle, shot rustlers and broke colts. In their spare time they made clothes, boiled laundry, scrubbed floors, baked pies, gave birth and cared for their children. From the 1880s on, this tough life was exhibited to the rest of the world through Wild West shows and circuses. One of the "curious creatures of the west" was Annie Oakley, whose dainty build, pretty face - and the ability to blast a hole through a playing card from a distance of 90 feet - made her a star. The image continued to be projected in films, music, theatre, fashion and advertising.
The changing depiction of the cowgirl provides a visual record, including: a rangewoman pitching hay in a Victorian full skirt and high collar; a comic strip showing a heroic Dale Evans single-handedly resucing a runaway wagon; a mini-skirted cowgirl in a 1950s advert for potatoes; and Western Barbie, complete with silver glitter. Gathered from archives and private collections in North America and Europe, they highlight the text that celebrates this cultural phenomenon. Candace Savage is the author of "Aurora: The Mysterious Northern Lights", which was shortlisted for the Science in Society Book Award.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 144 pages
  • 248 x 248 x 16mm | 557.92g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 100 colour and b&w photographs
  • 074752825X
  • 9780747528258

Rating details

19 ratings
4.05 out of 5 stars
5 26% (5)
4 53% (10)
3 21% (4)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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