Set during the French and Indian Wars, The Deerslayer vividly captures the essence of both the murderous humanity and the natural beauty that distinguished America’s founding. The last of Cooper’s famous Leatherstocking Tales, it is first chronologically in the frontier adventures of the backwoods scout Natty Bumppo. Amid a terrain largely inspired by Cooper’s own boyhood, Natty’s initiation in the moral codes of wilderness society is examined in what is, according to D. H. Lawrence, “the loveliest and best” of the Leatherstocking series.
This Modern Library Paperback Classic is set from the definitive text established by James Franklin Beard and James P. Elliott, which is the Approved Text of the Center for Scholarly Editions of the Modern Language Association.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of Family & Relationships eBook: The Deerslayer|
|Release Date: 07-29-2008|
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|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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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, Cooper would stay close enough to wherever they were reading to hear them. Surely some of the erotic and sentimental passages read in the voices of those he loved must have moved him deeply. But there is no record of any positive responses on his part. A single negative one, however, is recorded in almost everything that has ever been written about him.
One time, those accounts tell us, annoyed by the ineptitude of the text being read, he cried out, “Why do you waste time and money reading trash that anybody who can spell his own name could write better. Even me!” To this Susan is said to have answered–jokingly, according to some–“Why don’t you give it a try? I’d