The Wild West in England

By William F. Cody; Frank Christianson | Go to book overview
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APPENDIX 3
Promotion, Reception, and the Popular Press

The materials included here depict various aspects of Wild
West publicity, including both the show’s marketing efforts
and how it was perceived in the popular press and by members
of the public. The Wild West program, the American Exhibi-
tion commemorative book, and promotional posters all high-
light how the show both depended upon and promoted celebrity
culture. U.S. military leaders, Queen Victoria and her fami-
ly, and the Wild West’s featured performers all were grist for
the show’s marketing machine
.

Always at the center of the Wild West branding strategy,
Cody made himself available for personal appearances among
London’s cultural and political elites. Two personal invita-
tions—one real, the other a practical joke—speak to Cody’s
status on the London social scene. Press coverage of Cody and
the Wild West tended to reinforce the international theme of
The Wild West in England. Cartoons in
Punch and Puck, as
well as other satiric publications, found the dynamics of the
cultural encounter an irresistible subject. But even straight-
forward newspaper accounts saw the Wild West as part of a
larger framework of international relations. While Cody’s nar-
rative quotes freely from British newspapers, some samples of
American press coverage are included here as well. They show
how the Wild West abroad evoked nationalist sentiment at

-169-

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