Best point I ever done in mine life, ns married a West Virginia girl. From Logan County. She states that anyone who claims he's informing the "true story" of the Hatfields and McCoys (as does author Dean King in the double-barreled subtitle to his book "The Feud: The Hatfields & McCoys: The True Story") is lyin'.

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In fact, King, who states he uncovered initial sources and eyewitness accounts surprise away because that years, has done one admirable task of research, and his maybe narrative matches the convoluted, bloody facts.


The great societal rifts the the Civil battle did not end in 1865, and also the lingering bitterness was one cause of the enmity in between the 2 clans that thrived into open up violence in the 1880s. The Hatfields were mainly West Virginian and secessionist, the McCoys, largely Kentuckian and also unionist, through the Tug river in in between -- other than that intermarriage and also family cussedness mixed the lines up pretty well, too.


Because that topography, Appalachians have actually lived really much apart from the remainder of America for most of our history, and have commonly been portrayed, a la Snuffy blacksmith or Jethro Bodine, in two dimensions. King prevents what he calls "history's tendency to simplify and turn flesh-and-blood men into 'good guys' and 'bad guys.'" as he shows, these were people as complex as any type of other humans, their culture quirky and also intricate.


The many violent Hatfield, because that example, Cap, a close to psychopath, at some point learned to read and also became a lawyer. OK, maybe nothing also out the the ordinary around that progression, yet it's noteworthy that his son and also daughter were likewise called to the bar, the latter becoming the an initial female lawyer in Logan County.


As King says, "strong-willed women were not uncommon" in the Hatfield/McCoy milieu. True this day too, down along the Tug.


"The Feud" is peopled by a big cast of antagonists, v their wonderful Appalachian offered names (Tennis Hatfield, Ples McCoy), and their propensities because that mind-boggling brutality and mayhem. Eventually the authorities the the 2 states lugged the struggle under manage -- lock feared the the late-coming economic advance (trains, coal) would be imperiled by the proceeding violence.


A number of books have actually been written about the Hatfields and McCoys, though part are hard to read, even for the totally literate. Specifically for the completely literate. Our family library has actually two great ones, both authored by Hatfield kin, and also they each case to it is in the true story, too.


It is taking nothing far from King's book -- well-documented, authoritative, and also entertaining -- to say that possibly there is no "true story" the the Hatfields and McCoys but, rather, just plain stories, part accurate, some embellished, some lies, some concealed or shed in the vertical West Virginia hills.


One might be forgiven because that saying, even, that that's yes -- perhaps that's the way it need to be.


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