174. SNELL, Joseph W. Painted Ladies of the Cowtown Frontier. Kansas City: Kansas City Posse of the Westerners, 1965. , 24 pp., text illustrations by Gus Shafer, Frank Steinman, and Byron B. Wolfe (including full page frontispiece). 8vo, original gilt-lettered red cloth. Very fine. Laid in is an original signed drawing for the illustration used in the book on p. 14 showing the inside of a saloon-brothel (“Behind the dance room a long narrow corridor penetrated to the extreme length of the building”). Author’s signed presentation copy to Tal Luther.
First edition, limited edition (#1 of 250 signed copies). Adams, Guns 2059: “Mention of such gunmen as Bat Masterson, Wild Bill Hickok, Ben and Bill Thompson, and Rowdy Joe Lowe. It is strange that the author does not mention Wyatt Earp, though Earp’s common-law wife was one of the painted ladies. I think the author is wrong in listing Rose of Cimarron as one of the cowtown prostitutes.” This scholarly study of “a long submerged facet of our frontier development” includes documentation from newspapers and contemporary sources. The last illustration is of a headstone: “Virginia Marlotte | Born 1854 | Died 1892 | Here lies the body of Virginia Marlotte | She was born a virgin and died a harlot | For eighteen years she preserved her virginity | That’s a damned good record for this vicinity.” ($150-300)
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