Lonesome Dove is a 1985 Pulitzer Prize-winning (1986) western novel written by Larry McMurtry. It is the first published book of the Lonesome Dove series, but the third installment in the series chronologically. The story focuses on the relationship of several retired Texas Rangers and their adventures driving a cattle herd from Texas to Montana.
McMurtry originally developed the tale in 1972 for a feature film entitled The Streets of Laredo (a title later used for the sequel), which would have been directed by Peter Bogdanovich and would have starred James Stewart as Augustus McCrae, John Wayne as W.F. Call, and Henry Fonda as Jake Spoon. But plans fell through when Wayne turned it down, leading Stewart to back out, and the project was eventually shelved. Ten years later McMurtry resurrected the screenplay as a full-length novel, which became a bestseller and won the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
After the novel won the Pulitzer Prize, the idea of turning the novel into film came up again. Both John Milius and John Huston each attempted to adapt the novel into a feature film before Suzanne De Passe and McMurtry decided to adapt the novel as a mini-series. It was then made into the four-part TV miniseries, which won seven Emmy Awards and was nominated for twelve others. It spawned four follow-up miniseries, Return to Lonesome Dove, Streets of Laredo, Dead Man's Walk, and Comanche Moon, and two television series, Lonesome Dove: The Series and Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years.