"This is the most authentic book on the Texas cowboy." - Basic Texas BooksCharles A. Siringo. A Texas Cow-Boy; or, Fifteen Years on the Hurricane Deck of a Spanish Pony, Taken from Real Life by Chas. A. Siringo, an Old Stove Up "Cow Puncher" Who Has Spent Nearly Twenty Years on the Great Western Cattle Ranges. Chicago: M. Umbdenstock, 1885. First edition. 8vo. 316pp. Two color plates separated by tissue guard (the front and rear wraps from the paperback version issued simultaneously) precede the frontis portrait of Siringo as a young cowboy. Date to title page. Verso of title page features an additional portrait of the author, older. Original green cloth over boards. Gilt lettering and portrait of author on front board; blind-stamped designs. patterned endpapers. Some rubbing to lower portion of front board. A small piece of matching cloth has been used to repair base of spine. In a handsome full leather clamshell box, stamped 'Adolphus-Jenkins" (made by the Adolphus Bindery, the in-house bindery for the Jenkins Company in Austin). A wonderful fresh and square copy of this true rarity, in near fine condition.
A Texas Cow-Boy is the first memoir to come from Charles Siringo's ongoing chronicles of his varied careers: cowboy, merchant, and detective. Charles Angelo Siringo (1855-1928) began his work in the cattle industry as a teenager, and eventually published this, his first book, at the age of only 30. Asked what his motivation was for writing his memoirs, he answered simply, "Money - and lots of it." William Reese, in Six Score, calls it the "first autobiography of a cowboy, and unquestionably one of the most important range books." Written well over a century ago, the book continues to elicit praise for its authentic observations and engaging prose. Charles Peavy writes that the "unaffected honesty and the straightforward, unsophisticated style of the narrative [...] make Siringo's books such fascinating examples of a distinct literary genre." In his preface to a later edition, J. Frank Dobie writes: "His cowboys and gunmen were not of Hollywood and folklore. He was an honest reporter."
A Texas Cow-Boy is much sought-after in the first edition, and the copy offered here is one of the finest we've encountered. From the library of Ben Pingenot - bookseller, Texana collector, scholar, and author of Siringo: The True Story of Charles A. Siringo, the definitive biography of Charlie Siringo. A fine book with impeccable provenance, in truly spectacular condition. Ex Ben E. Pingenot.
References: Basic Texas Books 185 (A). Dobie, p. 119 ("No other cowboy ever talked about himself so much in print; few had more to talk about"). Dykes, Western High Spots ("The first autobiography of a cowboy and first in the hearts of many a range rider - it was virtually the cowboy's 'bible' for nearly half a century"; and, quoting Dobie: "now scarcer than hen's teeth"). Eberstadt 105:281. Graff 3804. Herd 2077. Howes S518 ("The first - and best - cowboy autobiography"). Peavy, Charles A. Siringo, A Texas Picaro, p. 9 ("a strange blend of braggadocio and self-effacement, of cunning and naivete"). Raines, p. 189. Six-Guns 2032 ("exceedingly rare"). Six Score 99 ("the first edition is virtually unprocurable").
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