• USA Today

    "Scrumptious is the only word to describe Ann Kirschner's Lady at the O.K. Corral: The True Story of Josephine Marcus Earp. This quick-paced biography has it all going on: sex, beauty, blood, guns, bad men and wild girls. Not to mention Hollywood and history."

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  • Wall Street Journal

    "...yes, Earp was co-habitating at the time with his second common-law wife, Mattie, a laudanum addict. But the full story is richer than that. Ms. Kirschner has dug through archives and family papers to tell it."

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  • Library Journal 4/1

    "Through deft analysis of primary and secondary sources, and through contacts with extant family members, Kirschner has corrected the narrative as thoroughly as possible."

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  • Advanced Praise for Lady at the OK Corral

    "Lady at the O.K. Corral is the remarkable true story of Josephine Earp, who lived through the transformation of the western frontier from gold rush boomtowns to the backlots of Hollywood. It is a vivid tale of romance and high drama, as Ann Kirschner reveals the dark secrets of Wyatt Earp’s past and Josephine’s Jewish immigrant family."

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  • She Knows Book Lounge

    "Kirschner's well-researched biography tells the tale of how one of the Old West's most famous couples coped with a rapidly changing world that took them from the last vestiges of the frontier to the heart of one of America's most modern cities."

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  • American Jewish World

    “Lady is as engaging as a novel. [Kirschner] has provided a delightful, thoughtful account of a little-known woman who shared a half-century of devotion with a legend."

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  • Bismarck Tribune, Feb 24, 2013

    Lady at the O.K. Corral is the sort of book from which movies are made. Two very tarnished characters walk through its pages. It is a colorful tale of ambition, adventure, self invention and romance. For nearly 50 years, the Josephine followed Wyatt Earp as his wife, and now Ann Kirschner introduces us to her in this compelling read.

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  • History Book Club

    Now, the woman who as his common-law wife shared his life for nearly fifty years has her own chronicle presented with energy and candor by Ann Kirschner....Kirschner’s impressive research demonstrates the perils of writing not only about Josephine, but also about Wyatt. The controversies about Earp and his brothers, especially the deadly violence that characterized their actions before, during, and after Tombstone have created a massive set of controversies that populates a major part of what Kirschner calls “Planet Earp...this fascinating, well-written book allows us to understand Josephine’s life in full.

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  • Fort Meyers Florida Weekly, Feb 24, 2013

    [Kirschner] brings Josephine out of the shadows to at last tell her story, a colorful and spirited tale of ambition, grit, adventure and selfinvention, all set against the exciting backdrop of the panorama of the West.

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  • King Features Weekly Service

    "Acclaimed author Ann Kirschner chronicles the never-before-told story of this German-Jewish woman from New York and how she worked as a part-time actress and dancer who connected with one of the most famous lawmen of the frontier West. She brings Josephine out of the shadows to at last tell her story, a colorful and spirited tale of ambition, grit, adventure and self-invention, all set against the exciting backdrop of the panorama of the West."

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  • Washington Independent Review of Books

    "It may or may not be the case that today we can see Marcus as “a passionate, resilient, unconventional woman, a myth builder for a bold new American era, with a remarkably modern understanding of media and celebrity.” In the end, it doesn’t matter. Despite this engaging biography’s subtitle, Kirschner shrewdly and successfully hews to the famous closing advice of John Ford’s Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, 'This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.'"

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  • True West Magazine

    "Lady at the O.K. Corral offers the reader a new perspective of Josephine Sarah Marcus-Earp. Author Ann Kirschner mines her own similar ethnic background to grasp and interpret Josephine’s thoughts and actions."

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  • Jewish Woman Magazine

    "Josephine is by no means a saintly or uncomplicated figure, and Kirschner does an admirable job of placing her in the context of her times. Ultimately, she creates a realistic picture of the economic and social challenges faced by a woman on the frontier, even one with a husband whose name was well-known in the annals of the West."

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  • Denver Post

    "Kirschner rehashes the Earp story but is best when she tells of Josie's struggles to find a biographer for Wyatt and of the conflicting accounts written about the Tombstone years. Josie comes across as a determined, loyal, sometimes pathetic and often annoying woman who might have been more of a trial for Wyatt than some of his shootouts."

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See the Complete Study Guide for Josephine's original letters, an environmental biography, and research papers.

View the Study Guide


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  • "Brilliant.... We finally have the definitive story of Josie Earp... a must-read book for anyone... who enjoys a hellaciously well-told tale."

    - Jeff Guinn, author of The Last Gunfight

  • "Brings a fresh, lively perspective to one of the great stories of the American frontier... a fascinating intersection of Jewish history and the Wild West."

    - Julie Salamon, author of Wendy and the Lost Boys