- Series: Women of the West
- Paperback: 175 pages
- Publisher: Gem Guides Book Co; First Edition edition (June 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 096190884X
- ISBN-13: 978-0961908843
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Soiled Doves: Prostitution in the Early West (Women of the West) Paperback – June 1, 2003
Elsevier Sales & Deals
Save up to 50% on textbooks, study guides & resources for your medical specialty.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
This is not a dense, academic study, but an easy-to-read overview. At times it is a tad disorganized, but it is such a quick read that this does detract much. The only criticism that I have is that the writer waffles between glamorizing the life of some of the "luckier" prostitutes, and asserting that they most led lives that ended with suicide.
The West was a man's world where, according to Seagrave, men often outnumbered women 50 to 1. Employment opportunities being few for uneducated young women, a great many found their way to the brothels in the red light districts of cities, cow towns and mining camps. The author describes these establishments from the most genteel down to the most squalid. She also characterizes the role of the madam, an entrepreneur whose business contributed to the local economy while being at the same time illegal and an object of outrage among the community's socially respectable.
Much of the book is devoted to profiles of individual madams, often known for their sharp business sense and their generosity, while contributing freely to local charitable organizations. The book includes many period photographs, including studio portraits of well established madams and the women who worked for them. One chapter is devoted to the special plight of Chinese prostitutes who lived under conditions of slavery in Western states into the early 20th century.
While the book is informative, a reader may sometimes question its accuracy as history. Myth and legend have a way of mingling with documented fact, and while all of this is interesting, the author isn't scrupulous about distinguishing between them. Because the book tends to dramatize the lives of the women it discusses, a reader looking for an analysis of prostitution in the larger picture of Western social history will probably find a lot of questions unanswered. Still, the book opens up a subject that is too seldom regarded with the historical interest it deserves.
"Soiled Doves" is rare as a readable, interesting and generally well researched history. Mrs. Seagraves occasionally gets carried away with some interior perspectives that would rankle historical purists, but as a casual reader I was enlightened and entertained.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is ok. The problem is the material. Let's be honest, most prostitutes are going to have a similar life arc, so the short biographies of the individual women got old... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Barbara Mcauliffe
Soiled Doves: Prostitution in the Early West is probably the most through and informative book on this aspect of the Old West. Well worth the cost.Published 5 months ago by Bud Shapard
Good research with accurate details about the working girls of the west.Published 7 months ago by Nancy K. Williams
Not only did this book give you a new perspective of the Early West, but a new perspective on prostitution as a whole. From tragic stories to lifelong love, this book is riveting. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Madison Smith
Super interesting book, and just happens to be mostly based on the area I live in so that was cool.Published 12 months ago by Srbeusk
When I lived in tombstone . Saw a lot of books on the old Wests women who became soiled doves. That part of Western history is very interestingPublished 13 months ago by sandy johanson
This was a wonderful look on how this aspect of society contributed to the history of the American West. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Joseph G. Vallee