THE VIRGINIAN - A Horseman of the PlainsWister, Owen; Illustrations Charles Russell
437 pp. Burgundy cloth with cream imprint. No dust jacket. Near Fine Condition. The first western that started it all. Grosset & Dunlap, 1902. 1911, edition.
Owen Wister first visited Jackson Hole in the late 1880s for his health. His travel journals to and from the East were the basis for his novel, The Virginian, the classic first published Western. Most of this work was written at his residence in Jackson Hole. Illustrations by Charles Russell
Owen Wister's classic popular romance THE VIRGINIAN (1902) had a significant influence on the Western fiction genre, and it is the most significant shaping influence on cowboy fiction. Its narrator, fresh from the East, encounters in Wyoming cattle country a strange, seductive and often violent land where the handsome figure of the Virginian battles for supremacy with Trampas and other ne'er-do-wells. His courtship of the genteel Vermont schoolteacher, Molly Wood, is a humourously observed battle of the sexes, demonstrating that the 'customs of the country' must eventually prevail. Rich in vernacular wit and portraying a romanticized escape from the decorum of the patrician East, The Virginian exudes a sense of redemptive possibility, drawing on Wister's experience of summers spent on a Wyoming ranch in 1895.