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The life and times of james fenimore cooper

After private schooling in Albany, Cooper attended Yale from 1803 to 1805.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Little is known of his college career other than that he was the best Latin scholar of his class and was expelled in his junior year because of a prank. Since high spirits seemed to fit him for an active life, his family allowed him to join the navy as a midshipman.

But prolonged shore duty at several New York stations merely substituted naval for academic discipline. For 10 years after his marriage Cooper led the active but unproductive life of a dilettantedabbling in agriculture, politics, the American Bible Societyand the Westchester militia.

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It was in this amateur spirit that he wrote and published his first fictionreputedly on a challenge from his wife. The Spy soon brought him international fame and a certain amount of wealth. Novels The first of the renowned Leatherstocking TalesThe Pioneers 1823followed and adhered to the successful formula of The Spy, reproducing its basic thematic conflicts and utilizing family traditions once again.

Fundamentally, the conflict is between rival versions of the American Eden: Since Cooper himself was deeply attracted to both ideals, he was able to create a powerful and moving story of frontier life. Indeed, The Pioneers is both the first and finest detailed portrait of frontier life in American literature; it is also the first truly original American novel.

Early years

Both Cooper and his public were fascinated by the Leatherstocking character. He was encouraged to write a series of sequels in which the entire life of the frontier scout was gradually unfolded. That work was succeeded by The Prairie 1827 in which, now very old and philosophical, Leatherstocking dies, facing the westering sun he has so long followed. The five novels of the series were not written in their narrative order.

  1. Clearly, Fenimore's tone was criticized as being reactionary, romantic, and pedagogical in tone.
  2. Reservations can only be guaranteed for the period requested. He conquered the literary world only to fall victim to his own fame.
  3. Cooper married De Lancey New Years Day, 1811 and for two years he led the life of a country gentleman.
  4. In 1806, he became a sailor and then a midshipman in the Navy.
  5. In the first popular biography of Cooper in a generation, historian Nick Louras brings the man and his age vividly to life. These novels, in which Natty becomes the centre of romantic interest for the first time, carry the idealization process further.

Identified from the start with the vanishing wilderness and its natives, Leatherstocking was an unalterably elegiac figure, wifeless and childless, hauntingly loyal to a lost cause. Cooper intended to bury Leatherstocking in The Prairie, but many years later he resuscitated the character and portrayed his early maturity in The Pathfinder 1840 and his youth in The Deerslayer 1841.

These novels, in which Natty becomes the centre of romantic interest for the first time, carry the idealization process further.

In The Pathfinder he is explicitly described as an American Adam, while in The Deerslayer he demonstrates his fitness as a warrior-saint by passing a series of moral trials and revealing a keen, though untutored, aesthetic sensibility.

And they were more authentic: As developed by Cooper, and later by Melville, the sea novel became a powerful vehicle for spiritual as well as moral exploration. Not satisfied with mere fictional treatment of life at sea, Cooper also wrote a meticulously researched, highly readable History of the Navy of the United States of America 1839. Cultural and political involvement Though most renowned as a prolific novelist, he did not simply retire to his study after the success of The Spy.

James Fenimore Cooper

Between 1822 and 1826 he lived in New York City and participated in its intellectual life, founding the Bread and Cheese Clubwhich included such members as the poets Fitz-Greene Halleck and William Cullen Bryantthe painter and inventor Samuel F. Morseand the great Federalist judge James Kent.

Like Cooper himself, these were men active in both cultural and political affairs.

  1. He spent his boyhood in the wilds of the frontier, served as a merchant sailor and naval officer, traveled the courts of Europe in an age of upheaval and returned home to scandal and controversy.
  2. Nick Louras is a first-rate historian and writer.
  3. What followed was Precaution 1820 a novel of morals and manners that showed the influence of Jane Austen.
  4. In case of a group from 13 people requires the buffet breakfast in an hour in particular, a previous coordination will be required with the reservation office and front desk because the restaurant is a concessionaire and they ask for this information with a prudent anticipation.
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Through his novels, most notably The Bravo 1831and other more openly polemical writings, he attacked the corruption and tyranny of oligarchical regimes in Europe. His active championship of the principles of political democracy though never of social egalitarianism coincided with a steep decline in his literary popularity in America, which he attributed to a decline in democratic feeling among the reading—i.

Return to America When he returned to America, he settled first in New York City and then for the remainder of his life in Cooperstown. In the gentlemanly tradition of Jefferson and Lafayette he attacked the oligarchical party of his day, in this case the Whig Partywhich opposed President Andrew Jacksonthe exponent of a more egalitarian form of democracy.

Squire Cooper had made himself especially vulnerable to popular feeling when, in 1837, he refused to let local citizens picnic on a family property known as Three Mile Point.

  • That work was succeeded by The Prairie 1827 in which, now very old and philosophical, Leatherstocking dies, facing the westering sun he has so long followed;
  • His buoyant political optimism had largely given way to calm Christian faith, though he never lost his troubled concern for the well-being of his country;
  • If the guest possesses valuables it is requested to inform front desk for their custody or otherwise make use of the safety deposit boxes installed in each room;
  • However, Cooper's early experiences in this frontier town gave him the background knowledge used in the Pioneers 1923;
  • Novels The first of the renowned Leatherstocking Tales , The Pioneers 1823 , followed and adhered to the successful formula of The Spy, reproducing its basic thematic conflicts and utilizing family traditions once again.

This incident led to a whole series of charges of libel, and suits and countersuits by both the Whigs and Cooper. At this time, too, agrarian riots on the estates of his old New York friends shattered his simple Jeffersonian faith in the virtue of the American farmer.

James Fenimore Cooper: A Life

All of this conflict and unrest was hard to bear, and harder still because he was writing more and earning less as the years went by. The public, which had reveled in his early forest and sea romances, was not interested in his acute political treatiseThe American Democrat 1838or even in such political satires as The Monikins 1835 or Home As Found 1838. Though his circumstances were never straitened, he had to go on writing; and some of the later novels, such as Mercedes of Castile 1840 or Jack Tier 1846—48were mere hackwork.

His buoyant political optimism had largely given way to calm Christian faith, though he never lost his troubled concern for the well-being of his country.