Monday, May 16, 2011

Book Review: Baby Doe Tabor: Matchless Silver Queen

Joyce B. Lohse’s Baby Doe Tabor: Matchless Silver Queen (Filter Press) offers a refreshing visit to Colorado history from the late 1800's through Baby Doe Tabor’s death in 1935.

Baby Doe, also known as Elizabeth, Lizzie, Mrs. Harvey Doe and finally, Mrs. Horace Tabor, is one of Colorado’s most colorful legends. Without sensationalizing, glorifying, or judging, Lohse tells Baby Doe Tabor’s compelling story drawn from skillful research.

Baby Doe isn’t afraid of hard work. She pitches in to help at her husband’s silver mine, driving a team of horses to lift heavy ore buckets up mineshafts. When her marriage ends in disappointment, she is determined to leave hardship and heartbreak behind. She seeks the finer things in life: beauty, love, comfort and riches.

She realizes all her dreams, and more, though not without struggle and censure. Horace Tabor’s impressive talent for making money brings riches beyond belief. But riches can become rags with a bad turn of luck.

Lohse’s nonfiction is reality based with no made-up dialogue or embellishment. Although much has been written about Baby Doe Tabor, Lohse’s meticulous research reveals fresh material never before recorded. One resource, Baby Doe’s cookbook, proved to be a wealth of insights with scraps of paper and notations in the margins, such as this gem: “Be kindly to everybody you meet, but don’t make everybody your friend.”

Baby Doe Tabor: Matchless Silver Queen is a nonfiction historical work worthy of notice. Lohse brings this character to life, revealing the truth about an amazing but often misrepresented historical Colorado figure.


Joyce Lohse said...

Thank you, Mary, for your wonderful review of Baby Doe. It was fun and challenging to learn about this interesting character, and to give her story the treatment and respect that it deserves. -- Joyce

Eunice Boeve said...

Enjoyed your review of Baby Doe. We used to vacation in that part of Colorado when the kids were still home. We loved the stories of Baby Doe and the Matchless Mine, etc. The kids loved wax museums and I can still see a protrayal in one of the wronged wife, Augusta Tabor, looking through a cafe window at her husband and Baby Doe in a cozy dining session.

Heidiwriter said...

Congratulations on your newest book, Joyce. This looks like a fascinating read. I'm drawn to it just by her name! Looking forward to reading it.

Irene Bennett Brown said...

Thank goodness for those women who lived such fascinating lives in the past, leaving writers rich material. Your book sounds wonderful, Joyce. Thanks, Mary, for bringing it to our attention.

Val in Paris said...

Sounds fascinating. I love historicals of women like Baby Doe. Thanks for the review, and congrats Joyce.