Although the names William F. Cody and Buffalo Bill have been attached to many works of both fiction and nonfiction, the question of Cody’s authorship has always been contested with regard to any work not written in his own handwriting. A consensus appears to have emerged among historians that Cody’s 1879 autobiography reflects his own voice, but the same cannot be said for the second edition as it appeared in the 1888 book, Story of the Wild West. Even had he had the inclination to become a biographer, it seems obvious that Cody could not have written the other three frontier biographies, given the demands on his time in 1887 and 1888.1 An examination of the Autobiography of Buffalo Bill, as the second edition is titled, reveals a significant abridgment: most of the material from the later work is drawn from the original, but it is condensed from thirty-two chapters in the 1879 edition to twenty-two in the subsequent one. New material is limited to a handful of illustrations; some, such as the image of a bloody scalp, added to the text’s sensational appeal.
The Wild West in England is listed not as an additional chapter in the table of contents but as a separate work appended to the end of the autobiography. With the exception of a scattering of newspaper publications, this addendum would be the only new autobiographical writing attributed to Cody after