Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Wild West Meets the Old South

By Paisley Kirkpatrick
Doc Holliday being in love with Melanie Wilkes from Gone With the Wind -- legend and literature come together.
When John Henry Holliday was a young man, he and his cousin Mattie Holliday were best of friends. During their teen years the friendship turned to a romance. Because they were first cousins, family members pressured them to end their involvement. Some folks say it was their tragic love affair that sent him West and her into a convent.
Doc and Mattie became close friends after Doc's father remarried just three months after his wife died. Doc was 14 at the time and gravitated toward his uncle, which would have given him more opportunities to see Cousin Mattie. Ten years after Doc left Georgia Mattie entered a convent and became Sister Mary Melanie. Mattie corresponded with Doc all of his life, but ultimately burned the letters exchanged by the two of them after his death.
Mattie's uncle was Margaret Mitchell's great grandfather. Years later, Mattie Holliday became a nun and took the name Sister Melanie. That was how she was known when Margaret Mitchell visited with her as an old woman at St. Joseph's Infirmary in Atlanta, Georgia. Mitchell is said to have asked her if she could name a character after her in the story she was writing, to which Sister Melanie replied, ''Just make her a good person."
Several years ago I was fortunate enough to take a tour through Margaret Mitchell's home in Atlanta. The docent pointed out two photos hanging on the wall -- one was Mattie and the other Doc. All of us tourists appeared surprised to hear of this love affair and how it had such a lasting effect on the two of them. Some have said that losing the love of his life might have contributed to his alcoholism.
For some reason I cannot understand, this story left an everlasting impression on me. How strange a man who became known as a fast gun of the west had loved a gentle lady who became a nun.
http://www.amazon.com/Paradise-Pines-Book-One-ebook/dp/B00909PON0/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1359675254&sr=1-1&keywords=paisley+kirkpatrick
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/paradise-pines-book-one-paisley-kirkpatrick/1112576086?ean=2940014889667
BLURB: Sassy Amalie Renard, a poker-playing saloon singer, shakes up Paradise Pines, a former gold-rush mountain community by turning the saloon’s bar into her stage. Her amazing voice stirs the passions of the hotel owner, a man who anonymously travels tunnels at night providing help to the downtrodden as the mysterious Night Angel. Declan Grainger agrees to subsidize the building of a music hall to fulfill Amalie's dream, but a bounty for her arrest could spoil his plans. Distrust and jealousy stir flames of malice and revenge threatening to destroy their town. Drawing from past experiences, Declan and Amalie turn to each other to find a way to save the community.
An ebook copy of Night Angel will be given to one visitor who comments. Please leave an email address.
Paradise Pines Series: Marriage Bargain will be released March 21, 2013
BLURB: The dusty trail of a wagon train leads west, but Darrah Benjamin finds it a pathway to love and forgiveness when an arranged marriage becomes much more than a convenience. Wagon scout Chase challenges her determination with his promise -- she’ll give him her heart and invite him to her bed before they arrive at their destination. Darrah will shape her own destiny and claim a woman’s spirit along the way. Charles Danforth, a scout known as Chase, leads a wagon train of emigrants west through plains plundered by murderers. As an undercover agent of President Polk, he has sworn to stop the massacres. Darrah's inadvertent comment gives him the clue he needs to achieve his assignment. His Sioux blood brother helps Chase end the killings, but almost ruins Chase’s chance of winning Darrah’s heart when he kidnaps her to demonstrate the depth of love Chase has for his wife.

48 comments:

  1. Nice work, Paisley! What a fascinating story of love in the Old West. This is a new one--I'd never have guessed that Doc Holliday would have had a love affair--but his story is intriguing. Thanks so much for bringing this to us. And I love the cover for your second novel--the first was so good, and I will read the second one--it's on my list. Thanks!

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  2. Goes to show that even the toughest man can have a weak spot when it comes to a woman!

    Very fascinating!

    Morgan Mandel
    http://www.morganmandel.com

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  3. Fascinating blog, Paisley! I've heard of Doc's affair with a woman named Big Nose Kate, later when he roamed the west. Knowing he was likely haunted by a lost love makes him seem more human.

    Love your book covers!

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  4. THE Doc Holiday had a girlfriend. haha I never would have guessed. But of course he did; he is a man after all. Awesome

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  5. What an inreresting story about Doc and Mattie. And even years later, the marriage of first cousins has been considered the cause of mental retardation and physical handicaps. Of course there are exceptions like the Roosevelts. Lovely book cover. I wish you success with this book. Linda Swift
    swift2208@yahoo.com

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  6. It is amazing how an unrequited, young deep love can affect people. Who knows what mundane life they would have both led had they been allowed to marry. Great post, Paisley!

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  7. I knew that Doc Holiday had been in love with his cousin, but how it all came to an end and what happened to them later was unknown to me. I certainly didn't know about the connection to Margaret Mitchell. Life's twists and turns are so interesting. I really enjoyed your article today and it's certainly a good start to love in February
    starcriter at yahoo dot com

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  8. I greatly enjoyed the stoey of Doc Holliday and Mattie. It's nice knowing the backstory of legendary figures.

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  9. Beautiful story, Paisley. I had no idea of this affair, and the GWTW connection is totally awesome. I also knew of Big Nose Kate, but this story is better!

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  10. Hi, Paisley. Wonderful post. I'd heard this one or read it somewhere but not that Mattie went into a convent. It very well could have led to Doc's alcoholism.

    You book sounds intriguing. I'll check it out!

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  11. I had no idea Doc Holliday was connected to Margaret Mitchell. Thanks for bringing us this special and sad love story. There were lots of lost loves back in those days sue to parent, social mores and so on...good fodder for romance stories of the present.

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  12. Thanks, Celia. I don't know why, but when we heard the docent in the Margaret Mitchell house tell us the story, it touched my heart. I hate to see unhappiness, but it seemed to be around a lot in the days when life was tough. I always watch the western movies differently if Doc Holliday is in them.

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  13. Thanks, Morgan. Isn't it something how he never forgot her and for a man to write those letters. Wish we knew what they said to each other.

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  14. Appreciate you stopping by Lyn. I also read that Doc caught the TB from his mother and it laid dormant for years before he had symptoms. His brother also died of TB.

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  15. Hi Anna, I think you're right. He was a man and not bad looking either. I wonder how different his life would have been if they'd married.

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  16. Thank you, Linda. I'm glad you liked my cover -- me, too. I think people still frown on first cousins marrying, but you never know. It could work out well.

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  17. Hi Paty. I often think what would happen if I had taken a different road and how my life would be. I guess what is meant to be, happens and we learn to make the best of it. My heart hurt for them when I heard the story.

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  18. Thanks, Sarah. I love that Margaret put her cousin in Gone With the Wind. She certainly made the character pious and gentle, just like her cousin asked. Thanks for stopping by.

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  19. Thanks, Maggie. I agree with you. Sometimes when you know why people act the way they do, you can forgive them a lot of things. Appreciate you stopping by.

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  20. Yes, this story is better than Big Nose Kate, Tanya. I had to laugh when you asked about it before. I sort of felt protective of my two characters. What can I say - I hate conflict. ;)

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  21. Thanks for stopping by, Linda. I think going into convents was one way they didn't have to face the harsh realities of life back then. It sounds like she was a loving soul all of her life.

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  22. Hi Delores, Appreciate you coming by today. There really seems to have been a lot of hardships back then. We don't realize how lucky we are with what we take for granted today.

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  23. How sad that they're love could come to nothing.

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  24. That's how I felt, Ella. Of course, I am an old softy when it comes to true love. Thanks for stopping by.

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  25. Isn't the whole point of not marrying first cousins is to prevent birth defects. If there is a dominant gene for a condition, if you're related it's possible both of you will have it and your child will have the condition.

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  26. I think you're right, Linda. But, in those days I am not sure they realized it. I always wish for happy endings. :)

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  27. Great blog. I loved learning more about Doc. And your book sounds great. Putting it on my To Buy list. Good luck.

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  28. Thank you, Charlene. It's fun to learn about the people we've heard about in history. Glad you came by today.

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  29. I love it when two favorites meet! Ms. Mitchell certainly had ties. I think one of her ancestors was the famous blockade runner (Tremaine? Wiklinson--something like that) who she based Rhett off.

    Thanks for the great post!

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  30. Isabel, I wouldn't be surprised if she did base Rhett on someone she knew or was related to. She sure had him written as a great hero type. Thanks for visiting.

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  31. Oh wow, Paisley! I didn't know that. How fascinating and romantic. We love the movie Tombstone. Doc is such a memorable character in that story. And of course I read Gone With the Wind many years ago and it was always one of my favorites. How neat to learn the connection!

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  32. Thanks, Vonda. So glad you enjoyed learning a bit of history. I loved it when I saw the photos of the two and then learned of their tragic love affair. You know me not liking conflict. :)

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  33. Interesting stuff Paisley. And how cool that you got to tour Margaret Mitchell's house. That would be awesome to see.

    The new book sounds really good. Can't wait for it's release.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

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  34. Thanks, Patricia. There is a newell post on her staircase and the docent said Margaret Mitchell would rub it for good luck every morning. I gave it a try and so far it seems to be working. ;) It is a great tour.

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  35. Great post, Paisley! I'm reading "Night Angel" right now. I really like the characters and the story. Isn't it interesting learning a tidbit of history you never learned in school? I find it fascinating. Good luck on your sales!

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  36. What a great story! Sounds like something a romance writer would dream up. But then, Doc would have to raid the convent and ride off into the sunset with Sister Melanie on his lap. Or not.

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  37. Great story, Paisley! How sad that she ended up as a nun and they could never be together.

    I already have your book, Night Angel, and look forward to reading it.

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  38. Diana McC, Thank you for stopping by today. I'm so glad you're enjoying my Night Angel. He is my favorite hero so far.

    students might enjoy history more if they could learn about these little tidbits. :)

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  39. Being a romantic, Callie, I would have had him storm the convent and take her west where nobody knew them. Just sayin'...

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

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  40. Thanks for coming by, Susan. I hope you enjoy the story when your time opens for reading. I sure wish I had more time to read. I have your stories, too.

    I wish they could have lived happily ever after, too.

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  41. Wow, Paisley. What a fantastic story. I did not know that about Margaret Mitchell--heck, I didn't know any of this! This is a story that's going to stick with me, for sure.
    Cheryl

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  42. I am so glad you like the story of Doc and Mattie, Cheryl. I know it impacted me a lot. At first I wasn't sure a sad story should start our month long sweethearts blog, but times were tough and not everyone could have their dreams.

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  43. Paisley,

    I didn't know this story about Doc Holiday and Mattie. I also didn't know Margaret Mitchell was related to the Holidays.

    I enjoyed your post and the tidbit of romance and history. Your story sounds interesting. Love the book cover.

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  44. Forgot my email :)
    kmnbooks at yahoo dot com

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  45. Hi Karen, I appreciate you stopping by. I know what you mean about being surprised with the family connection. Their story really touched my heart.

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  46. Great post, Paisley. I had no idea about Doc Holliday's first love. Thanks for the information.

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  47. Thank you, Caroline. It looks like we blasted off for the month of February. :)

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  48. Thank you everyone who visited the blog over the past couple of days. We have a winner of the Night Angel e-book: Karen Michelle Nutt

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