The Virginian (1902) is Owen Wister's classic popular romance, and 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 ...Read MoreThe Virginian (1902) is Owen Wister's classic popular romance, and 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 a summer spent on a Wyoming ranch in 1895. This edition includes Wister's neglected essay, 'The Evolution of the Cow-Puncher' (1895), a revealing companion to a novel that has disturbing undercurrents.Read Less
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I read somewhere that this book has sold record numbers of copies. It should. There was never written a better Western romance or any other kind of romance.Fooey on Camelot and those posturing Round Table guys with their plumes and flashy scabbords. The Virginian makes them look like woosies.
I fell in love with the Virginian and Molly, the New England school ma'arm whom he courts for three years before she will marry him because she does not want to disgrace her old-line family. Molly is adorable despite her family pride.l
Everything is in here: the cowboys, the roundups, the barbeques with whole steers roasted, the hanging, the shoot-out, the judge and his wonderfyully aristocratic wife, both of whom see how terrific a man the Virginaian is. Mrs. Judges says, "He's too good for her, but he doesn't know it." The judge's wife is right. No woman is good enough for the Virginian. I
read that this book is the model for all Western romances that came afterward. As far as I can tell, this is Owen Wister's only book, cobbled from a series of short cowboy tales that he had written and then patched together to make this one wonderful story.
I have read it twice, and I am going to read it
Feb 26, 2009
The story of a remarkable cowboy, told with humour, mischief, serious, and beauty. Plenty of beautiful vistas, colourful characters, strong friendships, desperate criminals, and even a bit of romance. It is hard to describe the plot since it is told in a series of episodes that gives you time to get to know the characters, but it still is cohesive and a highly recommended read!
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