This classic describes the life of a cowboy who is a natural aristocrat, set against a highly mythologized version of the Johnson County War and taking the side of the large land owners. The Virginian paved the way for many more westerns by such authors as Zane Grey, Louis L'Amour, and several others. Owen Wister (1860-1938) was an American writer and "father" of western fiction. When he started writing, he naturally inclined towards fiction set on the western frontier. Wister's most famous work remains the novel The Virginian.