No matter how interesting, perusing historic photographs of the seamy side of sex is always sad. Like so many other crimes by and against women, prostitution then and now proves that society still isn’t quite civilized. Of course, the vast majority of women who came West during the last century didn’t sell their bodies in order to survive. And a fitting tribute to these heroic, morally courageous, dignified and devoted women is Women of the Gold Rush: ‘The New Penelope’ and Other Stories by Frances Fuller Victor. Collected in this 192-page softcover are Victor’s own popular and highly praised stories from the 1870s. With exceptional insight, she depicts the lives and experiences of pioneer women who, sweeping stereotypes aside, are strong, intelligent, often angry and always capable. Women of the Gold Rush is an outstanding continuation in the Heydey Publication serious of reprints which include No Rooms of Their Own: Women Writers of Early California 1849-1869….

–Don DeNevi, author of Alcatraz ’46 and Ol’ Shep