Review was educational, though not enjoyable
Letter from Beth Avery
Review – March 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine
Dear Mr. Quillen:
I read your book review of Warriors, Widows and Orphans. I can’t say that I enjoyed it, but I would like to think that I am willing to learn from past mistakes. It appears that I have made some errors in each of my chapters.
In case there is a second printing of the book, I hope you’ll send me a list of the “inaccuracies and internal inconsistencies,” “anachronisms and geographic errors” that you discovered when reading the book. To that list I must add two misspellings on the acknowledgment page and a need for an index or an annotated bibliography.
Admittedly, the mixing up of Hickok and Holliday was a major faux pas that I should have noticed. For that blunder I apologize. However, I think some of the other mistakes that you mentioned are not quite as glaring.
A. On page 60 I state, “He [Governor de Anza united the Comanches behind Leather Cape, endeared himself to the Utes by offering them valuable gifts, and urged the Navajos to join his alliance or fall prey to the Comanches.” This is a statement that shows de Anza had an understanding of the Native American psychic. In Chapter One a Ute who is resentful of the general treatment received by most white men might not so graciously acknowledge the magnanimity in de Anza’s character.
B. I also debated with myself about adding the fact that his army of 600 men included a great many Utes, but it was one of the thousands of details I ended up eliminating to streamline the plot. Sorry. Next time around maybe I should include it.
C. You are the second person from the Canyon City/ Salida area that was annoyed by my deletion of the description of Pike’s circling through South Park and across Trout Creek Pass. I should have included this circuitous route in the story.
D. I envisioned Chivington as a hypocrite who did use “fine manners,” “sugary compliments” and “hypocrisy” as tools of his trade. However, Southern was an association I should not have made.
E. If you have a list of other discrepancies, please send it to me. Of course, I would prefer the complete enumeration in a private letter and not in a public review, if possible.
Hope you have a happy, prosperous New Year.
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