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Improper Bostonian

April 13, 1986

Stan Steiner is incorrect in his review (The Book Review, March 2) of David Payne's biography of Owen Wister to describe Wister as a Bostonian.

Wister did indeed take his degree from Harvard College, but he was the product of one of the first families of Philadelphia, and it was there that he wrote "The Virginian" and other Western tales.

Philadelphia's Franklin Inn Club lists him rightfully as one of its early members, and copies of his signed first editions rest on the shelves of this distinguished literary institution.

Boston might well claim Wister, perhaps in retaliation for the brand Philadelphia today places on Ben Franklin. Franklin was conceived in Boston, old-time Philadelphians say, but he was born at 14 in Philadelphia.

PATRICIA T. DAVIS

Montecito, Calif.

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