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The Deerslayerby James Fenimore Cooper
Synopses & Reviews
From the Introduction by Leslie A. Fiedler
In 1789, the year James Fenimore Cooper was born, the thirteen North Americancade he enjoyed a leisured existence as a gentleman farmer on inherited lands in both Cooperstown and Westchester County. Popular legend holds that Cooper turned to writing when his wife jokingly suggested that he attempt a novel, but it is now known thatme a gentleman farmer and householder. The one thing he still needed was a proper wife, which he was lucky enough to find in Susan DeLancey. She, as he already knew, came from a family richer and more securely upper class than his own and, as he learned, was also an affable, intelligent woman who was fond of reading. Cooper was content with this, yet at first he did not join her when she was busy with her books but indulged in the male pastimes of hunting and hiking in the nearby hills.
After Susan had given birth to four daughters, to whom she at first read and then taught to read to each other,
James Fenimore Cooper was the great professional American
The last of the five Leatherstocking tales recalls Natty Bumpo's adventures as a young man among the Delaware Indians of New York State
The deadly crack of a long rifle and the piercing cries of Indians on the warpath shatter the serenity of beautiful Lake Glimmerglass. Danger has invaded the vast forests of upper New York State as Deerslayer and his loyal Mohican friend Chingachgook attempt the daring rescue of an Indian maiden imprisoned in a Huron camp. Soon they are caught in the cross fire between a cunning enemy and two white bounty hunters who mercilessly kill for profit.
The last of the Leatherstocking Tales to be written, though first in the chronology of the hero’s life, The Deerslayer is James Fenimore Cooper’s masterpiece. A fine combination of romance, adventure, and morality, this classic novel of the frontier is an eloquent beginning for Cooper’s great wildernes saga—and an unforgettable introduction to the famous character who has been said to embody the conscience of America: the noble woodsman Deerslayer.
About the Author
Leslie A. Fiedler is Distinguished Professor and holds the Samuel L. Clemens Chair in English at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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