Mrs. Earp: Wives and Lovers of the Earp Brothers

When most people hear the name  Earp, they think of Wyatt, Virgil, Morgan, and sometimes the lesser known James  and Warren. They also had a half-brother named Newton, who lived a fairly quiet,  uneventful life. While it’s true these men made history on their own, they all  had a Mrs. Earp behind them—some more than one.

 

The Earp men, starting with the  patriarch of the Earp clan, Nicholas Porter Earp, did not like being alone.  Nicholas Earp was married three times, with his last marriage being at the age  of 80 his bride being 53. Three of his sons would follow their father’s lead and  “marry” more than once. It’s also possible these Earp brothers had additional  brides or lovers that have yet to be discovered!

 

One could argue some of these women  helped shape the future of the Earp brothers and may have even been the fuel  behind some of the fires they encountered. This book collectively traces the  lives of the women who shared the title of Mrs. Earp either by name or  relationship. The name Earp has stirred up many a historical controversy over  the years, from false photos to false accounts and so much more. With any  history, there is bound to be controversy simply because it can be a jigsaw  puzzle.

 

Discover all the women who went by the name Mrs. Earp. You may know their famous husbands named Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan, but it’s their turn to take the spotlight.

 

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Book Club members visit LitLovers to get a list of discussion questions.

 

Reviews:

From Sandra Dallas at the Denver Post, “The wives of the Earp brothers are not as well-known as their husbands, and with good reason. Women didn’t shoot it out in the streets of Tombstone. But they were a colorful lot just the same.

The Earp brothers — there were actually five of them, plus a half-brother, although only Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan are important to Western history — were not exactly choosy when it came to women. Or to marriage. Many of the women were prostitutes, and although the brothers enjoyed long relationships, they didn’t always marry. Wyatt and Josie Earp were together nearly 50 years, but there’s no record they made it legal…Author Sherry Monahan has done a nice job of digging up facts about the Earp women and bringing to life the distaff side of the Earp legend.”

***

 

“Much has been written about Wyatt Earp and his last wife, Josie. Now we have a book on all the Earps’ wives, and it is a dandy.

 

Monahan, a veteran Western writer of note, gives us delicious details of the partners of the famous Earp clan.

 

Besides Wyatt’s three (some think four) wives, this entertaining read details Virgil, Morgan, Warren, James and their spouses.

 

The fleeting, semi-permanent and lasting relationships of the Earp men have been well documented and researched for this effort. The history of these young women is a broadcloth when petticoats accompanied six guns. The hardness of the times and their men speaks volumes of the Old West, and what it might be like to live it on the distaff side.

 

Many of the Earp women shared the name without benefit of ceremony. But they called themselves “Mrs. Earp,” thus immortalizing their own place in history. The author does an excellent job in fleshing out the Earp wives, most particularly pinning down younger brother Warren’s marriage record, little known before this book.

 

Monahan, a contributing editor for True West magazine, has perhaps penned her best effort in Mrs. Earp. For all who enjoy the history of the West, this book satisfies an area that is little traveled, and she does it with her usual captivating style.”

— Scott Dyke, Green Valley News and Sun

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