A Philadelphian and grandson of the actress Fanny Kemble, Owen Wister was educated in private schools in the United States and abroad and graduated from Harvard University with highest honors in music. After suffering a nervous breakdown, he traveled to Wyoming to recover his health. He then made frequent trips back to the West. His only well-known novel, The Virginian (1902), a bestseller for years, is a pioneer western about a man Wister considered to be the "last heroic figure" of America. It was dedicated to his lifelong friend Theodore Roosevelt, another outdoorsman and lover of the West, whom he had met when they were both students at Harvard. Although often ignored as serious literature, Wister's novel with its archetypal hero has widely influenced popular western novels and films. Two of Wister's reprinted books are Lin McLean (1898) and Lady Baltimore (1906).