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Glossary and Character Taxonomy  Breakdown by Country of Origin   Bibliography   Table of Contents    The Best of the Encyclopedia

Cassidy, Hopalong. Hopalong Cassidy was created by Clarence E. Mulford (Corson) and appeared in sixty-seven stories, serials, and twenty-eight novels and story collections from 1905 to 1941, beginning with “The Fight at Buckskin” (Outing Magazine, Dec. 1905). He also appeared in over sixty movies and numerous comic books and radio and television shows.

The prose Hopalong Cassidy is substantially different from the parfait knight who appeared on screen and over the airwaves. Mulford’s Cassidy was intended to be a relatively faithful recreation of historical cowboys, so he has a limp, talks with his mouth full, swears, chews tobacco, rarely washes, has matted red hair, and is as tough as any fictional cowboy hero. Like the radio and film version, the prose Hopalong Cassidy is quick with his gun and is always willing to defend innocent men against evil criminals. He works with the men of the Bar 20 Ranch, who are led by Buck Peters.

* I'm including Hopalong Cassidy in the Best of the Encyclopedia category because of his historical importance. Hopalong Cassidy, along with a small handful of other cowboy characters--Owen Wister's Virginian, B.M. Bower's Flying U Ranch, Zane Grey's Lassiter--was signally important in establishing the direction, shape, and tone of the prose Western before the Western became a primarily cinematic genre. Cassidy and the men of the Flying U Ranch were primarily influential on magazine Westerns, both slick and pulp--an influence that lasted for decades. 

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