Stephen J. May, who also wrote Pilgrimage and Footloose on the Santa Fe Trail, resides in Craig, Colorado.
One of the century’s most enduring American writers, Zane Grey left a legacy to our national consciousness that far outstrips the literary contribution of his often predictable plots and recurring themes. How did Grey capture the attention of millions of readers and promote the Western fantasy that continues to occupy many of the world’s leisure hours? This study assesses the Zane Grey phenomenon by examining Grey’s romantic novels in the context of his life and era.
In 1927, at the peak of his career, Zane Grey bought a three-masted schooner, which he sailed to the Galapagos Islands, later journeying to Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, and Fiji. As colorful as his characters were, so too was their creator. A consummate explorer, Zane Grey toured the world, was an acclaimed expert on salt- and freshwater fishing, and incorporated the sights and sounds he witnessed into his writings.
From Cripple Creek to the Santa Fe Trail, Mesa Verde to the mountain towns of Leadville and Steamboat Springs, Colorado provides travelers and natives with a spectrum of beauty that is both awesome and austere. Drawn by the lingering mystique of conquistadores and wild, hot-blooded boom-town mining camps, Stephen May takes us on a physical and spiritual journey, through a Colorado alive with a sense of its rich frontier history.