A Cowboy Duel: Shane vs. The Virginian!

Scratching your head over who would win in a fight between those two famous cowboys, Shane and the Virginian?  Here are some points to consider as you make your decision about who should win this bout!

Shane

 Alan Ladd (left) and Van Heflin posing for pictures from the film Shane", 1951, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center, Jack W. and Louise Schaefer Papers, #430, Box 25, Folder 9."

Alan Ladd (left) and Van Heflin posing for pictures from the film “Shane,” 1951, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center, Jack W. and Louise Schaefer Papers, #430, Box 25, Folder 9.

Claim to Fame: The 1953 film, Shane, brought to life the literary character of the same name.  Protector of homesteaders’ rights, the voice of the underdog on the range, Shane provides another image of the tormented but virtuous cowboy, on screen and in print.

Special Skills: Gunslinging, charisma

Collection Connection:  Jack Schaefer papers (Alan Ladd’s film character, Shane, was based on Schaefer’s 1949 novel of the same title.)

The Virginian

Claim to Fame:  The Virginian is the first fictional depiction of a cowboy.

Special Skills: Excellent aim, a cool temper, talented ranch manager

Collection Connection: The AHC holds the Western Journals of Owen Wister, the author of The Virginian. Many of Wister’s journals contain accounts that were later fictionalized in The Virginian.  The Toppan Rare Books Library also has a first-edition copy of The Virginian.

"When you call me that, smile!" An illustration from the 1902 original edition of "The Virginian,"Toppan Rare Books Library, American Heritage Center.

“When you call me that, smile!” An illustration from the 1902 original edition of “The Virginian,”Toppan Rare Books Library, American Heritage Center.  The Virginian is assumed to be the man holding the pistol, leaning slightly across the table towards the reader.

Cover of the original edition of "The Virginian," 1902, from the Toppan Rare Books Library.

Cover of the original edition of “The Virginian,” 1902, from the Toppan Rare Books Library.

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2 Responses to A Cowboy Duel: Shane vs. The Virginian!

  1. Jamie Greene says:

    My vote is “The Virginian”. I’ve gotta support my Wyoming Cowboys, real or fictional.

  2. Donald Greene says:

    I think Shane ould win, He held his own in a fight with 6 – 7 guys in fist fight and shot 4 – 5 in a shoot out at one time.

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