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The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains (Penguin Classics)by Owen Wister
Synopses & Reviews
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.
The foreman of a large cattle ranch on the Wyoming frontier lives by the honor code of the West even though it means helping lynch a friend or possibly losing the girl he is to marry.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 367-369).
About the Author
John Seelye is a graduate research professor of American literature at the University of Florida. He is the author of The True Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain at the Movies, Prophetic Waters: The River in Early American Literature, Beautiful Machine: Rivers and the Early Republic, Memory's Nation: The Place of Plymouth Rock, and War Games: Richard Harding Davis and the New Imperialism. He is also the consulting editor for Penguin Classics in American literature.
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