who is the book "the virginian " dedicated to

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droxonian eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of The Virginian, we find a dedication to Theodore Roosevelt, in which Wister expresses his "changeless admiration" for a man who has seen and praised parts of the novel already. Wister also states that parts of the novel have been rewritten because Roosevelt "blamed," or criticized them. He calls Roosevelt his "dear critic."

Owen Wister, who wrote The Virginian in 1902, was a close friend of Theodore Roosevelt, whom he met when the two were students at Harvard together. Wister in fact wrote a memoir describing his friendship with Roosevelt, which he published in 1930. The two shared a love of the West and often discussed Wister's writing; there is a letter held in the Library of Congress from Roosevelt to Wister, in which Roosevelt expresses admiration for the way in which Wister has transformed the short stories upon which The Virginian was based into a "remarkable novel." Roosevelt particularly praises the chapter "Superstition Trail," and says that if he were not President, he would love to write a favorable review of the novel. I have attached a link to this letter below, as it offers some insight into the relationship between these two men and the nature of their correspondence, which Wister refers to in his dedication.

The dedication in full is as follows:

To Theodore Roosevelt

Some of these pages you have seen, some you have praised, one stands new-written because you blamed it; and all, my dear critic, beg leave to remind you of their author's changeless admiration.

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The Virginian

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