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The Oxford History of Popular Print CultureVolume Six: US Popular Print Culture 1860-1920$
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Christine Bold

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199234066

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199234066.001.0001

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Westerns

Westerns

Chapter:
(p.317) Chapter 15 Westerns
Source:
The Oxford History of Popular Print Culture
Author(s):
Christine Bold
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199234066.003.0016

This chapter looks at the history of popular westerns across print, performance, and display in the United States between 1860 and 1920. In particular, it examines the dominant western formula that not only popularised the West but also reinforced hierarchies of race and gender while also propagating different myths of American nationhood. It first considers dime and nickel novels, together with Buffalo Bill Cody as a key figure in the western’s emergence as America’s national image and the role of dime novels in that process. It then explores some popular works emerging from the frontier club, including Owen Wister’s 1902 novel The Virginian before concluding with an analysis of other figures — well beyond the confines of the frontier club — who made a bid on the literary marketplace.

Keywords:   westerns, United States, race, gender, nationhood, nickel novels, Buffalo Bill Cody, dime novels, frontier club, The Virginian

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