4.5 (out of 5) stars for this nonfiction American history title by Sean McLachlan. I listened to the audio (Audible) version and read the kindle version–both of which are well done and present the legends and factual history surrounding Jesse and Frank James and their association with the Youngers, the James-Younger Gang.
In my opinion, the history was presented fairly, properly documented and researched, and provides amateur historians like me with the foundation necessary to create a frame of reference for the fiction I so enjoy reading. As an author, the short format (just over 2 hours listening time, or 62 print pages with historic photographs) provides the most comprehension for the smallest investment; a win-win offering.
Flourishing in Our Midst are “Matrimonial Agencies” Which Seem to Need Attention:
Trysting Places for fools, Old and Young Which Can Be Dispensed With.
One Institution Investigated, the Vile Character of Which its Proprietors Do Not Deny.
The original newspaper article appeared in The Inter Ocean Newspaper, Chicago, Illinois, 28 August 1887.
A parade through historical newspapers taking a look at the wild and colorful history of one Charles H. Rowan, proprietor of a matrimonial agency in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the late 1890’s. He was accused, arrested, tried, found not-guilty, allegedly bribed government officials, retried–and the story doesn’t end there.
One common thread through all Articles in this series (Nineteenth Century Mail-Order Bride SCAMS) is the criminal’s intention to capitalize on their victims’ loneliness and desire for love and companionship.
Some brides-elect and grooms-elect actually had their intellect about them enough to recognize when things weren’t quite right (even if fraud was not involved in one out of three incidences)… and made prudent decisions about their course of action.
A murderer finds his victims through a matrimonial bureau; and two wealthy (and married) women entrap unsuspecting swains into expensive courtships, engagements, marriage– or close enough– broken hearts and shattered illusions.