By Viridiana Arroyo
One Book Yuma's featured book this year was "Lady at the OK Corral" by Ann Kirschner. The forum included an introduction to the book by the author, a Q&A session and a book signing.
Kirschner's biography entitled Lady at the O.K. Corral: The True Story of Josephine Marcus Earp tells the story of the woman who was Wyatt Earp's common-law wife. Marcus had been lost in history until the extensive research by Kirschner brought her story to life.
In this biography Kirschner claims that Marcus was the impetus for the fight at the OK Corral in 1881. Kirschner reveals the untold story of the shootout claiming that it developed because of a love triangle between Wyatt Earp, Josephine Marcus and Johnny Behan. The infamous gunfight at the O.K. Corral took place in Tombstone, Ariz., where Marcus was performing with a traveling acting troupe and met the two men who were part of the gunfight.
The Old West in the late 1800's was the perfect place for a woman like Marcus to make her place in history. Kirschner portrays her as a spirited and colorful woman with a desire for adventure who carved her place in the formation of the West beside the man she devoted herself to for 50 years. The pair traveled throughout the West following their dreams and even lived in Yuma for a short time.
At the end of the forum Kirschner opened the discussion to the gathering and bantered with readers about this tale of the Old West, clarifying points in her research on the life of Josephine Marcus Earp.
Lady at the OK Corral brings an added perspective to the literature of the region and contributes to the discussion of women's importance in this period of American history.