Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Buffalo Bill, Boozers, Brothels, and Bare-Knuckle Brawlers by Kellen Cutsforth

book cover
Buffalo Bill, Boozers, Brothels, and Bare-Knuckle Brawlers:
An Englishman's Journal of Adventure in America
by Kellen Cutsforth

ISBN-13: 9781442246591
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Two Dot Books
Released: Nov. 1, 2015

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
The travel journal of the wealthy young Englishman, Evelyn Booth, weaves a factual, enthralling, and entertaining narrative that follows his escapades throughout the United States of the late nineteenth century.

Transcribed and edited (with relevant commentary for contemporary audiences) by Kellen Cutsforth, Booth’s journal reveals his career as a young care-free “frat boy” with unlimited funds, gives first-hand accounts that involve drunken nights, fist fights, illicit sex with prostitutes, sporting events, and full-blown adventures with the most well-known celebrities of the day, including encounters with famous scout and showman William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody and the Wild West Cowboys; bare knuckled world champions John L. Sullivan and Jack “Nonpareil” Dempsey; Fred Archer, the most famous horse jockey of the day, and prostitutes, gamblers, and infamous houses.

My Review:
Buffalo Bill, Boozers, Brothels, and Bare-Knuckle Brawlers is a journal by wealthy, young Englishmen recording their travels in America from Oct. 1884 to April 1885. They traveled to New York City, then to Niagara Falls, Chicago, Arkansas, Texas, New Orleans, and Florida. Much of the trip was spent hunting and fishing, so much of the journal is a record of what game they killed and their living conditions while thus occupied. When in town, much of their time was spent drunk while gambling, getting into fights, or with prostitutes. They got arrested a number of times. The fact that even a lowly baggage checker could call for their arrest bothered Evelyn more than any consequences of being arrested.

They also described Central Park (mainly the animals seen there) and Niagara Falls in winter. They viewed several boxing matches and commented on the boxing style of several famous boxers. They also commented on the food and drink, the travel conditions and costs, horse racing, and baseball. They mentioned various people they encountered, which included some famous people like Buffalo Bill Cody. The author included end notes that explained the slang and gave more information on the people encountered and places mentioned. There were some black and white pictures of people, places, and events mentioned.

I was curious what a traveler would think of America and my home state of Arkansas. We do get their impressions, but that isn't the journal's focus. I'd recommend this book to those who enjoy historical journals, especially people interested in hunting.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

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