The epic novel of the American West and the heroic cowboy
Owen Wister’s powerful story of the tall, silent stranger who rides into the uncivilized West and defeats the forces of evil has become an enduring part of American mythology. Set in Wyoming Territory, The Virginian depicts the loneliness and challenge of an unknown land where the whistle of a freight train sounds across great miles of silence, where easy camaraderie—and sudden violence—are found around the campfire, and where the rough honesty of “frontier justice” is just beginning to impose a sense of society on an unruly populace. For Wister, the West represented a territory of adventure that tested the worth of a man. His hero, as John Seelye writes in his Introduction, has his roots in the historical romances of Sir Walter Scott and James Fenimore Cooper; he is a man who lives by the classic code of chivalry, ruled by quiet courage and deeply felt honor.
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About The Virginian
Owen Wister’s powerful story of the silent stranger who rides into the uncivilized West and defeats the forces of evil embodies one of the most enduring themes in American mythology.
Set in the vast Wyoming territory, The Virginian (1902) captures both the grandeur and the loneliness of the frontier experience, brilliantly evoking the tension between the romantic freedom of the great, untamed landscape and mankind’s deep-seated desire for community and social order. Wister brings to life the honesty and rough justice that ruled the range and the civilizing influence of determined women in frontier settlements that imposed a sense of society on an unruly population.
For Wister, the West tested a man’s true worth. His hero-influenced by those of Sir Walter Scott and James Fenimore Cooper-is a man who lives by the classic code of chivalry, ruled by quiet courage and a deeply felt sense of honor.
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Published by Penguin Classics Aug 01, 1988| 416 Pages| 5-1/16 x 7-3/4| ISBN 9780140390650
Published by Penguin Classics Aug 01, 1988| 416 Pages| ISBN 9781101661598