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The Iron Mistress

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Title:The Iron Mistress
Wellman, Paul Iselin   
(9 of 15 for author by title)
Jericho's Daughters (Jericho #4)
The Greatest Cattle Drive
Published:   1951
Publisher:Doubleday & Company, Inc.
Tags:America, biography, fiction, historical, Mexico, film/TV adaptation

A quite extraordinary piece of historical recreation in a biographical novel based on the life of Jim Bowie, whose name has been immortalized in the “bowie knife”. From the time of his youthful invasion of the effete city of New Orleans, still much more French and Spanish than American in 1817, to his death in the Alamo in 1836, his was a life teaming, with the spirit and mood of a frontier region. Bowie, fresh from the untutored bayous, found New Orleans and particularly its women, tempting and alluring and defeating. He won renown of sorts as a duelist; his famous knife—“the iron mistress”—served him well, but romance caught him unaware and hurt him to the core. He became a Mexican, married a Mexican belle who gave him his brief era of sheer happiness—such the shifting background against which his prowess, his dauntless courage, his ingenuity in achieving impossible goals won him fame perhaps beyond his deserts.—Kirkus Review. [Suggest a different description.]

Comments:novel based on the life of Jim Bowie, whose name has been immortalized in the “bowie knife”
Pages:342 Info

Author Bio for Wellman, Paul Iselin

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Paul Iselin Wellman (October 15, 1895—September 17, 1966) newspaperman, writer of popular history, novelist and screenwriter, is best known for his books set in the Great Plains and Kansas. His two best-selling novels, The Walls of Jericho (1947) and The Chain (1949), both Literary Guild selections, are set in Kansas towns which closely resemble Dodge City and Wichita, respectively. Both novels received mixed reviews from the critics. But on one thing, all who wrote about Wellman’s books agreed: the Kansas setting is a totally authentic ingredient.

Paul Wellman came to Kansas via Oklahoma and Africa. He was born in Enid, Oklahoma on October 15, 1895. At six months, his parents went to Angola to become medical missionaries. Paul mastered the language of the Bantu of the Umbundu tribe, helping his father translate songs and sermons. He returned to Kansas and finished school. After the war, Wellman returned to Wichita and took a job as a reporter for the Beacon. He moved over to the Wichita Eagle and began writing accounts of the Great Plains Indian wars. Wellman was then hired by the Kansas City Star, where he worked on the telegraph desk and wrote editorials and headlines. In the meantime, he kept at his writing which resulted in an output of 31 books in the period 1934-1966—almost one published book per year. Wellman died in 1966 of stomach cancer, three weeks after receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Paul Wellman is remembered as a man of the Great Plains who made a sincere attempt to portray Kansas and the people of Kansas.

Source: washburn.edu/reference/cks/mapping/wellman

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