object-matrimony_chris-enss_true-westBilled as an “entertaining look at the serious business of finding a husband or wife by mail-order in the wide-open days of the Old West,” Chris Enss’s latest work, Object: Matrimony, delivers on its promises.

America in the wake of the Civil War was gender-imbalanced. In the East, women outnumbered men by a significant margin. In the West, the opposite was so. Naturally, these romance-minded folks would create their own eHarmony.com for the frontier, via ye olde print media. Enss shares scores of real-life appeals, like the following: “Wanted: a nice, plump, healthy, good-natured, good-looking domestic and affectionate lady to correspond with.” This is truly a concise, frolicking read.


—Jesse Mullins

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