James Fenimore Cooper

Easton Press James Fenimore Cooper books

The Deerslayer - 1961
The Spy - 1963
The Pathfinder - 1965
The Praire - 1968
The Pilot - The Collector's Library of Famous Editions - 1968
The Last of The Mohicans - 100 Greatest Books Ever Written -1979
The Deerslayer or The First War-Path - The Collector's Library of Famous Editions - 1998

LeatherStocking Tales - 5 volumes including:
The Deerslayer
The Last of The Mohicans
The Pathfinder
The Prairie
The Pioneers

Franklin Library James Fenimore Cooper books

The Last of The Mohicans - 100 Greatest Masterpieces of American Literature - 1977
The Last of The Mohicans - 100 Greatest Books of All Time - 1979
The Last of The Mohicans - World's Best Loved Books - 1981
The Deerslayer - 100 Greatest Masterpieces of American Literature - 1982
The Deerslayer - World's Best Loved Books - 1985

James Fenimore Cooper biography

James Fenimore Cooper, (1789-1851), American author, born in Burlington, N.J., and educated at Yale University. In 1790, his family settled on a large tract of land in central N.Y. where they established the town of Cooperstown. James Fenimore Cooper spent his boyhood in this region, acquiring the intimate knowledge of forest lore and Indians which characterizes much of his writing. He entered Yale University in 1803, but because of his defiant attitude toward academic discipline, was forced to leave in his junior year. James Fenimore Cooper entered the merchant marine as a sailor before the mast in the following year. In January, 1808, he received a commission as a midshipman in the U.S. navy. After three years of naval service, which included duty with a shipbuilding party on Lake Ontario, he resigned his commission. This act, which occurred shortly before the outbreak of the War of 1812, was probably motivated by pro- British sympathies.

James Fenimore Cooper

Meanwhile (January 1st, 1811), James Fenimore Cooper had married the daughter of the prominent DeLancey family, of Mamaroneck, N.Y. For the greater part of the next eleven years, he lived at his wife's home, managing her estates. James Fenimore Cooper began his literary career, in 1819, primarily to demonstrate to his wife that he could write a better novel than one they were reading. James Fenimore Cooper's first work, Precaution (1820), a conventional novel about life in England, was a failure. Selecting the American scene as the background for his next work, he wrote The Spy (1821). This novel, aromantic tale of the American Revolution, was immediately successful, both in the U.S. and abroad. In 1823 he completed The Pioneers, the first of five novels, subsequently known as the Leather stocking series, dealing with life in the American wilderness. This work introduced the backwoodsman Natty Bumppo, one of the most memorable characters in American fiction. James Fenimore Cooper also wrote, in 1823, The Pilot, the first of a number of novels about the sea. In his work he created another memorable character, Long Tom Coffin. Coopers next important work was The Last of the Mohicans (1826), a romantic novel of life among the American Indians, which is generally regarded as his greatest achievement. By this time, James Fenimore Cooper was universally recognized as the leading American novelist.


James Fenimore Cooper book

From 1826 to 1833, James Fenimore Cooper lived and traveled in Europe. He continued to write during this period, producing The Prairie (1827), another of the Leather stocking series; and The Red Rover (1827), The Wept of the Wishton-Wish (1829), and The Water Witch (1830), all novels with seafaring backgrounds. A trilogy, The Bravo (1831), The Heidenmauer (1832), and The Headsman (1833), depicted from a republican viewpoint social relations in Europe during the Middle Ages.

James Fenimore Cooper's first work after his return to the U.S. was A Letter to His Countrymen (1834), the first of a series of works of social criticism directed at his countrymen. Among these works, which were vigorously attacked in the American press as snobbish and antidemocratic, are The Monikins (1836), The American Democrat (18380, Homeward Bound (1838), Home as Found (1838). Aspersions on his personal character accompanied many of the press attacks on these works and he successfully sued a number of newspapers for libel.

Resuming residence at Cooperstown, he wrote with increased productivity, both in fiction and nonfiction. The notable nonfiction works of this period are History of the Navy (18390 and a sequel, Lives of Distinguished American Navel Officers (1846). Of the novels he wrote at Cooperstown, The Pathfinder (1840) and the Deerslayer (1841) are among his greatest works. These novels, which completed the Leatherstocking series, were followed by sixteen other works of fiction, notably Wing-and-Wing (1842), Afloat and Ashore (1844), and Miles Wallingford (1844), sea romances; and Satanstoe (18450, The Chainbearer (1845), and The Redskin (1846), a trilogy, called the Little Page Manuscripts, which deals with the relations between the wealthy and the poor in New York State.

Cooper's standing among great American novelist rest largely upon his narrative and imaginative faculties, his use of dramatic incident and plot, and his ability to describe romantic background. He was the first American writer to give vivid portrayals of the sea, the primeval forest, and the prairie. He had many faults as a stylist, however, and some of his characters, notably his women, are wooden and lifeless. While critical appraisals of his stature as a novelist are frequently at variance, he continues to be one of the most widely American authors.


The Deerslayer - The Leatherstocking Tales Book 1

The Deerslayer, or The First War-Path (1841) was James Fenimore Cooper's last novel in his Leatherstocking Tales. Its 1740-1745 time period makes it the first installment chronologically and in the lifetime of the hero of the Leatherstocking tales, Natty Bumppo. The novel's setting on Otsego Lake in central, upstate New York, is the same as that of The Pioneers, the first of the Leatherstocking Tales to be published (1823). The Deerslayer is considered to be the prequel to the rest of the series. Fenimore Cooper begins his work by relating the astonishing advance of civilization in New York State, which is the setting of four of his five Leatherstocking Tales.

A restless white youth raised by Indians, Natty Bumppo is called Deerslayer for the daring that sets him apart from his peers. But he has yet to meet the test of human conflict. In a tale of violent action and superbly sustained suspense, the harsh realities of tribal warfare force him to kill his first foe, then face torture at the stake. Still yet another kind of initiation awaits him when he discovers not only the ruthlessness of "civilized" men, but also the special danger of a woman's will. His reckless spirit transformed into mature courage and moral certainty, the Deerslayer emerges to face life with nobility as pure and proud as the wilderness whose fierce beauty and freedom have claimed his heart.

The Last of The Mohicans - The Leatherstocking Tales Book 2

The Last of the Mohicans , one of the world’s great adventure stories, dramatizes how the birth of American culture was intertwined with that of Native Americans. In 1757, as the English and the French war over American territory, the frontier scout Hawkeye Natty Bumppo risks his life to escort two sisters through hostile Huron country. Hawkeye enlists the aid of his Mohican friends Chingachgook and Uncas, and together they battle deception, brutality, and death in a thrilling story of loyalty, moral courage, and love.

A historical story in Cooper's brilliant frontier tales. It is an exciting adventure about America's original inhabitants, our Native Americans and Hawkeye's heroic plight and pursuit against his white brothers while battling the evil and vengeful Huron Chief Mugua.

The wild rush of action in this classic frontier adventure story has made The Last of the Mohicans the most popular of James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales. Deep in the forests of upper New York State, the brave woodsman Hawkeye (Natty Bumppo) and his loyal Mohican friends Chingachgook and Uncas become embroiled in the bloody battles of the French and Indian War. The abduction of the beautiful Munro sisters by hostile savages, the treachery of the renegade brave Magua, the ambush of innocent settlers, and the thrilling events that lead to the final tragic confrontation between rival war parties create an unforgettable, spine-tingling picture of life on the frontier. And as the idyllic wilderness gives way to the forces of civilization, the novel presents a moving portrayal of a vanishing race and the end of its way of life in the great American forests.

The Pathfinder - The Leatherstocking Tales Book 3

The Pathfinder (1840), Cooper's most picturesque novel and the fourth of the five Leatherstocking Tales, is a naval story set on the Great Lakes of the 1750s. Fashioned from Cooper's own experience as a midshipman on Lake Ontario in 1808-09, the novel revives Natty Bumpo (who had died in The Prairie), and illuminates Cooper's interest in American history with his concern for social development.

Natty Bumppo is a 40-year-old wilderness scout living near Lake Ontario during the French and Indian War who comes to the aid of a British colonial garrison under attack. He dearly loves Mabel Dunham, daughter of a sergeant. Mabel refuses his offer of marriage because she loves his friend, Jasper Western (under suspicion of being a traitor), in large part because of his fluency in French.

The Pioneers - The Leatherstocking Tales Book 4

The first of the five Leatherstocking Tales, The Pioneers is perhaps the most realistic and beautiful of the series. Drawing on his own experiences, Cooper brilliantly describes Frontier life, providing a fascinating backdrop to the real heart of the novel the competing claims to land
ownership of Native Americans and settlers.

In this classic novel, James Fenimore Cooper portrays life in a new settlement on New York's Lake Otsego in the closing years of the eighteenth century. He describes the year's cycle: the turkey shoot at Christmas, the tapping of maple trees, fishing for bass in the evening, the marshalling of the militia. But Cooper is also concerned with exploring the development of the cultural and philosophical underpinnings of the American experience. He writes of the conflicts within the settlement itself, focusing primarily on the contrast between the natural codes of the hunter and woodsman Natty Bumppo and his Indian friend John Mohegan and the more rigid structure of law needed by a more complex society. Quite possibly America's first best-seller (more than three thousand copies were sold within hours of publication), The Pioneers today evokes a vibrant and authentic picture of the American pioneering experience.

The Prairie - The Leatherstocking Tales Book 5

The Prairie: A Tale (1827) is a novel by James Fenimore Cooper, the 3rd novel written by him featuring Natty Bumppo. His fictitious frontier hero Bumppo is never called by his name, but is instead referred to as "the trapper" or "the old man." Chronologically The Prairie is the 5th & final installment of the Leatherstocking Tales, tho it was published before The Pathfinder (1841) and The Deerslayer (1842). It depicts Natty in the final year of his life still proving helpful to people in distress on the American frontier. The book frequently references characters & events from the two books previously published in the Leatherstocking Tales as well as the two which Cooper wouldn’t write for more than ten years. Continuity with The Last of the Mohicans is indicated by the appearance of the grandson of Duncan & Alice Heyward & the noble Pawnee chief Hard Heart, whose name is English for the French nickname for the Delaware, le Coeur-dur.

Westward The novel explores the westward expansion of the United States, as settlers move westward and encounter new lands, peoples, and challenges.
Frontier The novel vividly depicts the hardships and dangers of life on the American frontier, where people must contend with harsh weather, hostile Native American tribes, and other challenges.
Cultural The novel depicts the clash between European American settlers and the Native American tribes who lived on the prairie, highlighting the cultural differences and conflicts between the two groups.

The novel is a story of survival, as characters must navigate the challenges of life on the frontier and overcome various obstacles in order to survive and thrive.
The novel celebrates the beauty and power of the natural world, with Cooper's descriptions of the prairie landscape evoking a sense of wonder and awe.
The novel explores questions of identity and belonging, as characters struggle to find their place in the rapidly changing world of the American frontier.
The novel features heroic characters who exhibit bravery, courage, and resilience in the face of adversity, embodying the virtues of the American frontier.


The Pilot - A Tale of the Sea

Having drawn on local knowledge and private information for The Spy and on his own boyhood experiences for The Pioneers, it was inevitable that Cooper would seek a way to convert yet another area of his special knowledge into art. His first choice of career had been the U.S. Navy, in which he served as a midshipman from 1808 to 1810.

In 1823, Cooper began writing The Pilot, which he saw as a sea novel that seamen would appreciate for its fidelity and yet one that landsmen could understand.

"Cooper's poetic power is reserved for the sea, which is no backdrop but a separate world with forces and laws of its own. The individuation of the ships, particularly the personification of the Ariel, contributes to the magic, but the exhilaration of the book comes from the triumph of human skill and intelligence over the uncertainties and downright hostilities of a world of waves, winds, and hidden reefs. The land offers neither a comparable challenge nor so heady a victory."

The Spy

A historical adventure reminiscent of Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley romances, Cooper’s novel centers on Harvey Birch, a common man suspected of being a spy for the British.

One of the first and most notable spy novels ever written. Set at the start of the Revolutionary War, peddler Harvey Birch becomes a spy for the American side. Because of the top secret nature of his job, many Americans suspect Birch is spying for the British.
While rebels and the Loyalists are on common ground in Westchester County in New York, the appearance of neutrality is not reflected in the hearts nor minds of those who live there.

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