This book was mentioned in the queer pulp book I read. It was originally published in the 19th century as a true account of a woman who lived in the "Wild West" dressed as a man. This version was published by the University of Oklamhoma Press and contains several different versions of Charley's story.
The "autobiography" reads to start with like a novel, it tells the story of her parents who had her out of wedlock, the mother thinking her father was dead and marrying a man she didn't love because she was already pregnant. It was all very dramatic. When Charley was born she spent time living with servants before being sent to school. She seemed to have gotten married about 12 or 13 then when her husband was murdered she decided to seek revenge on the killer by dressing as a man and hunting him down. Her life as a man to start with seems very unrealistic. She claims to have made 1000s of dollars working on boats which seems rather unlikely. But parts of the story definitely sound more plausible, running a bar and on the trail west which were excerpts taken from her diary. It seems impossible reading this how much was factual but that doesn't really matter as it is an entertaining story anyway.
The next part is the account of Mountain Charley written by a newspaper man. The woman he describes has a totally different background and different adventures. Dressing as a solider and joining the army. I found his section much less interesting.
I'm not really very interested in the US in the 19th century or cowboys but nonetheless this was an interesting story of someone living the life of another gender. So I would recommend it....Continua