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Owen Wister: Chronicler of the West, Gentleman of the East
     

Owen Wister: Chronicler of the West, Gentleman of the East

by Darwin Payne
 

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In what remains the only full-length biography of Owen Wister (1860–1938), Darwin Payne details the life of the man who created the popular image of the cowboy that dominated American culture from the early 1900s to the 1960s. Payne follows Wister from his privileged childhood in Philadelphia, to his undergraduate days at Harvard, to his musical studies in

Overview


In what remains the only full-length biography of Owen Wister (1860–1938), Darwin Payne details the life of the man who created the popular image of the cowboy that dominated American culture from the early 1900s to the 1960s. Payne follows Wister from his privileged childhood in Philadelphia, to his undergraduate days at Harvard, to his musical studies in Europe, to his “discovery” of the West, and through his maturation as an individual and a writer. Payne draws on Wister’s own voluminous papers and writings in delineating, for the first time, the real-life incident that prompted Wister to invent the character of “the Virginian,” and in presenting the actual individual whom the famous character most closely resembles. Payne also provides intimate details about Wister’s surprising friendships with such prominent American figures as Theodore Roosevelt, William Dean Howells, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., William James, Frederic Remington, and John Jay Chapman.

Editorial Reviews

Pacific Historical Review - Richard W. Etulain

“No previous discussions of Wister have been so probing or revealing as this account of the author’s humanness. . . . [This is] an authoritative life-story of Owen Wister, a central figure in understanding the important role of the West in American culture.”—Richard W. Etulain, Pacific Historical Review
National Review

“An excellent biography of the most complex of American eccentrics, who also invented the Western cowboy novel.”—National Review
Journal of American History

“This is a first-rate biography. . . . Payne has written a sensitive, candid, balanced life of Owen Wister that is likely to remain the standard study of the writer for some time to come.”—Edwin R. Bingham, Journal of American History
Journal of the Southwest - Howard R. Lamar

“Darwin Payne is to be congratulated on this fresh, thorough, and fair-minded study of Owen Wister.”—Howard R. Lamar, Journal of the Southwest
Choice
"Gracefully written and exhaustively researched."—Choice

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803237698
Publisher:
UNP - Bison Books
Publication date:
10/01/2011
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author


Darwin Payne is professor emeritus of communications at Southern Methodist University and the author of several books, including Quest for Justice: Louis A. Bedford Jr. and the Struggle for Equal Rights in Texas and Indomitable Sarah: The Life of Judge Sarah T. Hughes.

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