Hidalgo and Other Storiesby David Dary (Foreword by), Cuchullaine and Basha O'Reilly (Editor), Frank T. Hopkins
It started as a search for heroes. It became a hunt for the most elusive equestrian charlatan of all time. If Frank Hopkins is to be believed, he led one of the most exciting, challenging and colorful (albeit unrecorded) lives in the late nineteenth century. No one rode more miles, eluded more danger, or befriended more famous people than he did. During the 1930s and 40s the self-proclaimed legend told a naïve American public that he had won nearly five hundred endurance races, including an imaginary race across Arabia on a mythical mustang named "Hidalgo." Hopkins' remarkable career supposedly began when he became a dispatch rider for the US government on his twelfth birthday in 1877. According to his mythology, this Renaissance Man of the Old West went on to work as a buffalo hunter, Indian fighter, African explorer, endurance racer, trick rider, bounty hunter, Rough Rider, big game guide, secret agent, Pinkerton detective and star of the Wild West show. Experts beg to differ. This book contains an unprecedented study, undertaken by more than seventy experts in five countries, ranging from the Curator of the Buffalo Bill Museum to the former Sultan of Yemen. These academics investigated the historical improbability of Hopkins' claims and weighed him on his merit, not his myth. The resulting exhaustive study revealed that Hopkins had maintained a spirited disregard for the truth, plagiarized material from famous authors, slandered genuine American heroes and perpetrated a massive fraud for nearly one hundred years. Far from being the star of Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West show for 32 years, for example, the counterfeit cowboy was discovered working as a subway tunnel digger in Philadelphia and a horse-handler for Ringling Brothers Circus. It is his endurance racing pretensions, however, that have brought Hopkins his greatest notoriety and made him the hero of a Hollywood movie. Yet there is not even a documented photograph of Frank Hopkins in the saddle! Here then are all the known writings of Frank T. Hopkins, published in their entirety for the first time in history.
- The Long Riders' Guild
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This book was the best ever don't listen or pay attention to mrs. stubborn up there believe me I HIGHLY recomnded this book.
I give this book only one star, not for the content itself, but for the commentary that fills the first seventeen pages. What the editors and researchers of this piece of work do not seem to understand is that Frank Hopkins, liar though he might have been, seems more to be inserting himself into the American mythology rather than it's history. Most of the folks responsible for this publication seem to be angry that they have been lead down the garden path and are incapable of seeing the larger picture. This comes out in their commentary, handed down with the same scathing condescension of an overzealous adult trying to convince a kid that Santa doesn't exist. I reccomend the book though, and reccomend also that when you buy it, just grab those first seventeen pages or so and start ripping. Some people, unfortunately, seem to be born without the capacity for faith and imagination and it is unfortunate that they got their hands on this particular piece of work.
has anyone ever thought to check out the truth as to exactly how much land and money was set aside for the mustang in the area he describes that would shut some mouths and open a few eyes,I am trying to get a hold of the county and find out exactly what was set aside very hard to do as records are not kept as accurately then as now ,Have found that he did have the horse in races but not him as the rider in all of them and the only type of picture found shows horse and him standing ,Back to the point has anyone bothered to check back to the county and state records ,the land was willed for the wild mustang and if I read correctly ,no names identified but land was sold off by an heir because it was not filed correctly to stay as a refuge for the horses,If I ever find more information I will put it in for everyone to see.