Owen Wister (1860-1938) was born in Philadelphia and raised in Germantown, Pennsylvania. At age 25, he spent a summer in Wyoming on the advice of his physician. Encouraged by his friend from Harvard, Theodore Roosevelt, he later wrote about his experiences and observations of the American West. His greatest success came in 1902 with the publication of The Virginian, which was a bestseller for months and would be dramatized and filmed numerous times.
John Seelye is a graduate research professor of American literature at the University of Florida. He is the author of The True Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain at the Movies, Prophetic Writers: The River in Early American Literature, Beautiful Machine: Rivers and the Early Republic, Memory's Nation: The Place of Plymouth Rock, and War Games: Richard Harding Davis and the New Imperialism. He is also the consulting editor for Penguin Classics in American literature.