Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve written a Tuesday Inspiration for the Muse post.
Well, I titled this edition Reading Challenge. Yep, this year I signed up for the Goodreads Reading Challenge after fellow bloggers Jacquie Biggar and D. Wallace Peach inspired me with the amount of books they read in 2019.
I’m proud to say, I’m on a roll now too.
What else has inspired me enough to write this post? The Virginian. Plain and simple. A book and the man. You’ll find various versions, but this is the digital edition I purchased.
This isn’t a review. It’s more like I’m bragging about how good it is and how this western of old, inspired me as a western romance author. Not only as an author. As a reader, I got a lot of pleasure from this book in the cold month of January. I read some parts over and over because I loved the way Owen Wister wrote them in 1902.
This is the the first book I read in 2020 and I’ve added more old westerns to my Kindle. Why old? It’s obvious I love westerns and cowboys. When I read what I’m writing, it makes me think I have to be working on my own, so I stop reading to write. The old ones might have a touch of romance tossed in here and there, or a pretty girl that catches a cowboy’s eye, but it isn’t contemporary western romance, and it allows me to read with full enjoyment. However, I do still read contemporary western and enjoy what I read. I have to–it calls to me. However, I read it slower, and then have to go back to catch up where I was when I return.
I Loved the author. Loved, LOVED the book and will read it again. Lordy, I fell in love with the man who was the “Virginian.”
Owen Wister (July 14,1860 – July 21,1938) was an American writer and historian, considered the “father” of western fiction. He is best remembered for writing The Virginian and a biography of Ulysses S. Grant.
From Encyclopedia Britannica: The Virginian, in full “The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains,” Western novel by Owen Wister, published in 1902. Its great popularity contributed to the enshrinement of the American cowboy as an icon of American popular culture and a folk ideal.
A chivalrous and courageous but mysterious cowboy known only as the Virginian works as foreman of a cattle ranch in the Wyoming territory during the late 1870s and ’80s. The gunplay and violence that are inherent in his frontier code of behaviour threaten the Virginian’s relationship with a pretty schoolteacher from the East. The novel’s climactic gun duel is the first “showdown” in fiction. It also introduced the now-classic phrase that the Virginian utters when pushed to the limit by an adversary: “When you call me that, smile!”
Oh, I love that last line as much here as I did in the book.
Inside the digital copy, “To the Reader: The Cowpunchers ungoverned hours did not unman him. If he gave his word, he kept it.” Wister, Owen. The Virginian. Kindle Edition.
I’ll say it again. I LOVED this book and the hero.
Some of my favorite lines. I highlighted many:
“Lacked! Are you acquainted with cow-boys?”
This was the door of Molly’s own room. And there she sat, in floods of tears. For she could not bear to hurt a man who loved her with all the power of love that was in him.
“Oh, pshaw! When yu’ can’t have what you choose, yu’ just choose what you have.”
“This hyeh train?” The Virginian consulted his watch. “Why, it’s been fanning it a right smart little while,” he said laying no stress upon his indolent syllables. “
You’ll find a variety of editions available, but my digital version is from the original storyline. Check out this cover (and price).
Before I finished the book, I searched for the movie, since The Virginian isn’t showing on TV at this time of year. Oh, I didn’t search to watch before reading the end. Uh-uh! Wikipedia says about the TV show: “While truer to the book, the timeline was advanced as the series developed for production.”
On one of the free apps on my TV, I found multiple movie versions of The Virginian. One version and the most current, featured Trace Adkins–a country singer/ actor in real life who makes a great cowboy. I love Trace Adkins (and his long hair). The man himself did a great job of acting in the movie, but the storyline didn’t follow the book and made the Virginian out to be a different man than what Owen Wister created.
That particular movie left me disappointed. This is why I’ll read the book again. So, folks, even though this isn’t a review, I think I gave Owen Wister the credit he deserves for his western novel and the hero he created. Enjoy your day.
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