cover image Gold Digger: The Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor

Gold Digger: The Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor

Rebecca Rosenberg. Lion Heart, $15.99 (318p) ISBN 978-0-578-42779-9

Rosenberg’s exceptional fictionalized portrait of Baby Doe Tabor encompasses her years of triumph and turmoil during Colorado’s early statehood. Newlywed Elizabeth “Lizzie” McCourt Doe heads to Colorado in 1878 from Oshkosh, Wis., to prospect for gold in her first husband’s family mine. After he abandons her, leaving her penniless and pregnant, Lizzie divorces him and supports herself as a tailor in a haberdashery. Her beauty, enhanced by large doelike eyes, earns her the nickname Baby Doe and the adoration of U.S. senator and mining magnate “Silver King” Horace Tabor, who is twice her age. Their passionate love affair, begun while he was still married, sustains them as they weather scandal, financial collapse, and Horace’s political ruin. During their marriage, Baby Doe and Horace are civic-minded Denver philanthropists, providing for the impoverished and building a hotel and opera house, but they have their share of sorrows: suffering slander and social ostracism, her family’s estrangement after her divorce, and his friend’s embezzlement. Rosenberg embellishes with vivid historical markers—Colorado’s mineral rush, the Hop Alley Riots targeting Chinese immigrants, and Horace’s bills for conservation, miner pensions, and Chinese rights. Readers will be drawn in by Baby Doe and leave with a distinct picture of a formidable woman from a tumultuous period of American history. (Self-published.)