As the American West opened up to settlers after the Civil War, people were eager for tales of great adventures, endless possibilities, and the pioneering spirit. Classic Westerns is a collection of six novels that captured this sense of exploration and brought the rugged landscape into the homes of readers everywhere. These novels--The Virginian by Owen Wister, O Pioneers! by Willa Cather, The Lone Star Ranger and The Mysterious Rider by Zane Grey, and Gunman's Reckoning and The Untamed by Max Brand--tell of life on the open plains, in dusty outposts, and alongside majestic mountain ranges that rose to greet travelers who ventured forth into the unexplored country to find their destinies.
Owen Wister (1860--1938) was an American writer and is considered the father of Western fiction. He is best remembered for his novel The Virginian, although he never wrote about the West afterwards. Willa Sibert Cather (1873--1947) was an American writer who achieved recognition for her novels of frontier life on the Great Plains, including O Pioneers! (1913), The Song of the Lark (1915), and My Antonia (1918). In 1923 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours. Zane Grey (1872--1939) was one of the United States' most popular writers of western fiction. His best-selling book was Riders of the Purple Sage, published in 1912. Max Brand was the pen name of Frederick Schiller Faust (1892--1944), an American author known primarily for his thoughtful and literary Westerns.