Karl Friedrich May (1842-1912) was one of the best selling German writers of all time, noted mainly for books set in the American Old West and similar books set in the Orient and Middle East; in addition, he also wrote stories set in his native Germany, in China and in South America. He also wrote poetry, and several plays. He composed music, being proficient with several musical instruments. Mays musical version of Ave Maria became very well known. He used many different pseudonyms, including Capitan Ramon Diaz de la Escosura, M. Gisela, Hobble-Frank, Karl Hohenthal, D. Jam, Prinz Muhamel Lautramont, Ernst von Linden, P. van der Luwen, Franz Langer, and Emma Pollmer. For the novels set in America, he described the characters of Winnetou, the wise chief of the Apache Tribe, and Old Shatterhand. Non-dogmatic Christian feelings and values play an important role, and Mays heroes are often described as being of German ancestry. In addition, following the Romantic ideal of the noble savage his Native Americans are generally portrayed as innocent victims of white law-breakers, and many are presented as heroic characters. In his later works, there is a strong element of mysticism.