Books in The Papers of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody series, published by the University of Nebraska Press in association with The Papers of William F. Cody
Frank Christianson – Brigham Young University
Jeremy M. Johnston – Buffalo Bill Center of the West
Douglas Seefeldt – Ball State University
Army scout, frontiersman, and hero of the American West, William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody was also a shrewd self-promoter, showman, and entrepreneur. In 1888 he published The Story of the Wild West, a collection of biographies of four well-known American frontier figures: Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, Kit Carson, and himself. Cody contributed an abridged version of his 1879 autobiography with an addendum titled The Wild West in England, now available in this stand-alone annotated edition, including all the illustrations from the original text along with photographs of Cody and promotional materials.
Advance man, press agent, and publicist extraordinaire, John M. Burke (1842–1917) was instrumental in turning William F. Cody into the iconic persona of Buffalo Bill. And with this biography, published in 1893, Burke put the finishing touches on the legend that persists to this day. This new, definitive edition includes the full text and all the photographs and line drawings of Burke’s original, while providing critical background on the literary sources, historical characters, and events that figure in the work.
Written when Cody was thirty-three years old, this life story captures both the hard reality of frontier life and the sensational image to which a boy of the time might aspire: the Indian fights, buffalo hunting, and Pony Express escapades that popular history contributed to the myth-making of Buffalo Bill. It is this movement between the personal and the mythic, plain facts and tall tales, William F. Cody and Buffalo Bill, that gives this autobiography its fascination and its power. Based on the original 1879 edition, this volume provides a new introduction, historical materials, and twenty-six additional images. It reveals both the William F. Cody of personal history and the Buffalo Bill of American mythology—and, finally, the curious reality that partakes of both.
By any standard Charles Eldridge Griffin (1859–1914), manager of the Wild West’s European tour, was a remarkable man. Known by the stage names of Monsieur F. Le Costro, Professor Griffin, and the Yankee Yogi, he was an author, comedian, conjurer, contortionist, dancer, fire-eater, hypnotist, illusionist, lecturer, magician, newspaper owner, publisher, sword swallower, and yogi. His account of life on the road with the Wild West show, published here for the first time since its release in 1908, opens a window on a vanished world. In addition to line drawings and photographs from the original book, Chris Dixon provides an introduction and annotations for historical context. Griffin’s story of traveling with Buffalo Bill in Europe from 1903 to 1906 presents a fascinating picture of a quintessentially American character. At the same time it offers a vision of the nation on the verge of nationalism, imperialism, and an emerging global mass culture.