Researching Historical Fiction, Women in the West

Going west for a cure

More from Sheila M. Rothman’s “Living in the Shadow of Death”: In the early 1800s, tuberculosis was often romanticized as spiritually uplifting, ennobling even. Therefore, men with TB often went on strenuous journeys to the West Indies or the American South as part of a religious quest; they used their suffering to get closer to… Continue reading Going west for a cure

Famous People of the Old West, Researching Historical Fiction

Doc Holliday’s incessant cough

It’s hard to believe now, but in the first half of the 19th century, tuberculosis—or consumption, as it was known until the 1880s—was responsible for one in five deaths, making it America’s deadliest disease. It was widely believed to be hereditary (like insanity), in part because multiple family members across generations died of the disease.… Continue reading Doc Holliday’s incessant cough