Philadelphia born Owen Wister published this novel in 1902 and in doing so established the conventions of the Western. Although dime novels had already featured cowboys and their ways, the stereotype reached fruition with The Virginian. It is a story of natural justice and of the contrast between American East and West. The narrator sees exquisite beauty in the Wyoming landscape that, like the 'sublime' in the eighteenth century, makes the trivialities of "Fifth Avenue" and the like all the more explicit. "They live nearer nature and they know better", the narrator says of the townsfolk. Even so, the Virginian himself and all the major players in the novel are Easterners. Oddly, despite being responsible for the invention of the cowboy there are no cattle-working scenes. But this is really the tale of new land and the unknown, the name "cowboy" meaning far more than its component parts and standing for an attitude and a lifestyle.