Thomas Mayne Reid (1818 - 1883), was a Scots-Irish American novelist. "Captain" Reid wrote many adventure novels akin to those written by Frederick Marryat and Robert Louis Stevenson. He was a great admirer of Lord Byron. These novels contain action that takes place primarily in untamed settings: the American West, Mexico, South Africa, the Himalayas, and Jamaica. The Headless Horseman is a story about an Irish adventurer and hero in the War with Mexico. First Lt. Reid, writing as "Captain Reid," penned a series of popular novels and attributed his headless horseman idea to a south Texas folk tale. Vladimir Nabokov recalled The Headless Horseman as a favorite adventure novel of his childhood years: "which had given him a vision of the prairies and the great open spaces and the overarching sky." At 11, Nabokov even translated The Headless Horseman into French alexandrines.