The Virginian is a pioneering novel set in the Wild West describing the life of the foreman of the Shiloh Ranch in Wyoming. It was the first true western written, aside from the tiny dime novels. It paved the way for many more westerns by famous authors such as Zane Grey, Louis L'Amour, and several others
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Dime novels had featured some rather scrawny horse-bound tenders of cattle, but not until 1902 did the cowboy become a fully realized article of American culture. That year Owen Wister, a native of Philadelphia, published the novel that established the conventions of the western.About the Author:
Robert Shulman is Professor of English and American Studies at the University of Washington.
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