According to Kate
The Legendary Life of Big Nose Kate, Love of Doc Holliday
by Chris Enss
Rowman & Littlefield
Biographies & Memoirs , History
Pub Date 01 Oct 2019
I am reviewing a copy of According to Kate through Rowman & Littlefield and Netgalley:
Kate Elder was born Mary Katherine Horony on November 7 1850 in Hungary. Her Father Michael Horony was a German Physician and her Mother, Katharina Baldizar was a homemaker. Her Father was able to provide well for the family.
In the early 1860’s Political Unrest prompted Doctor Horony to move his family out of Hungary. By November 1862 they settles into a modest home in Davenport
Iowa where Doctor Horony resumes his practice. In March of 1865 Katarina died of typhoid fever, just over a month later Doctor Horony died of an unknown ailment very suddenly and unexpectedly.
The five youngest children went to go live with their oldest sister and her husband. In 1866 Kate and Wilhelmina would be sent to the Ursuline Convent and Boarding School In St Louis in 1866 after family friend Otto Smith was named administrator of the Doctors Estate.
Mary was a rebellious student who didn’t take well to the rules of the Convent.
Doc Holliday’s paramour Big Nose Kate could never get a publisher to give her the large amount of money that she demanded to tell the story of her life, however that didn’t stop her from collecting material she wanted to use in a biography. Over the fifty years Mary Kate Cummings, alias Big Nose Kate, traveled the West she saved letters from her family, musings she had written about her love interests, and life with the notorious John Henry Holliday. (Doc Holiday) This book uses rare, never before published material Big Nose Kate stock-piled in anticipation of writing the tale of her days on the Wild Frontier, the definitive book about the famous soiled dove will finally be told. Kate claims to have witnessed the Gunfight at the OK Corral and exchanged words with the likes of Wyatt Earp and Josephine Marcus. There’s no doubt she embellished her adventures, but that doesn’t take away from their historical importance. She was a controversial figure in a rough and rowdy territory. What she witnessed, the lifestyle she led, and the influential western people she met are fascinating and represent a time period that is very much romanticized.
I give According to Kate four out of five stars!