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Nature's NoblemenTransatlantic Masculinities and the Nineteenth-Century American West$
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Monica Rico

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300136067

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300136067.001.0001

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“The Latest Fad of These Silly Days”: Buffalo Bill in Darkest London

“The Latest Fad of These Silly Days”: Buffalo Bill in Darkest London

(p.132) 4 “The Latest Fad of These Silly Days”: Buffalo Bill in Darkest London
Nature's Noblemen

Monica Rico

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody and the running of his Wild West show at Earls' Court in 1882. In 1887, when Cody brought the Wild West show across the Atlantic for the first time, he was already America's most famous embodiment of the archetypal frontier hero. His masculinity, performed in the context created by British discourse about western men and nature, seemed at first to be the perfect antidote to a London beset by tensions over gender, race, and class. Cody's skillful use of cultural codes of gender and race were also part of his personal narrative as a self-made man and western hero, yet his performance depended on the manipulation of the press and public in ways that raised questions about his authenticity and the stability of the London world which acclaimed him.

Keywords:   Wild West show, Earls' Court, masculinity, cultural codes, gender, self-made man

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