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.