Virginian

ISBN-10: 1593082363
ISBN-13: 9781593082369
Edition: N/A
List price: $9.95 Buy it from $2.00
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Description: The western is one of America's most important and influential contributions to world culture. And it was Owen Wister's "The Virginian", first published in 1902, that created the familiar archetypes of character, setting, and action that still  More...

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Book details

List price: $9.95
Publisher: Barnes & Noble, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/1/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 432
Size: 4.75" wide x 7.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.594
Language: English

The western is one of America's most important and influential contributions to world culture. And it was Owen Wister's "The Virginian", first published in 1902, that created the familiar archetypes of character, setting, and action that still dominate western fiction and film. "The Virginian"'s characters include: The hero, tall, taciturn, and unflappable, confident in his skills, careful of his honor, mysterious in his background; the heroine, the "schoolmarm from the East, " dedicated to civilizing the untamed town, but willing to adapt to its ways--up to a point; and the villain, who is a liar, a thief, a killer, and worst of all, a coward beneath his bluster. Its setting--the lonely small town in the midst of the vast, empty, dangerous but overwhelmingly beautiful landscape--plays so crucial a role that it may be regarded as one of the primary characters. And its action--the cattle roundup, the capture of the rustlers, the agonizing moral choices demanded by "western justice, " and the climactic shoot-out between hero and villain--shaped the plots of the thousands of books and movies that followed.

A Philadelphian and grandson of the actress Fanny Kemble, Owen Wister was educated in private schools in the United States and abroad and graduated from Harvard University with highest honors in music. After suffering a nervous breakdown, he traveled to Wyoming to recover his health. He then made frequent trips back to the West. His only well-known novel, The Virginian (1902), a bestseller for years, is a pioneer western about a man Wister considered to be the "last heroic figure" of America. It was dedicated to his lifelong friend Theodore Roosevelt, another outdoorsman and lover of the West, whom he had met when they were both students at Harvard. Although often ignored as serious literature, Wister's novel with its archetypal hero has widely influenced popular western novels and films. Two of Wister's reprinted books are Lin McLean (1898) and Lady Baltimore (1906).

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