Romanticism

A brief history of James Fenimore Cooper

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Biography

James Fenimore Cooper was born on September 15, 1789 in Burlington, New Jersey. When he was one year old, he moved to Cooperstown, New York, a village founded by his father. After attending boarding school in New York, he started college at Yale in the year 1803. He was expelled, however, as a result of his pranks, one of which involved him blowing up another student's door. He joined the navy as a midshipman in the year 1808, got married to his wife,Susan Augusta De Lancey, when he was 20, and inherited $50,000 upon the death of his father, who was fatally injured by an assassin. He began his life of writing in 1820, with his first novel being Precaution, a story about morals and manners showing the influence of Jane Austen and Amelia Opie. In the year 1826 he left to Europe for a seven year stay, continuing to write books. When he returned to America in 1833, he faced a lot of criticism of his works. This criticism was caused by the alienating of Cooper's American audience, which was contained within the novels he wrote during his time in Europe. He moved to Cooperstown to escape ridicule in New York, and died September 14, 1851, just one day before his 62nd birthday.
James Fenimore Cooper history/herstory

Subject Matter

James Fenimore Cooper had a lot of inspiration when writing his frontier novels, having grown up in a frontier village. In particular, the book series The Leatherstocking Tales starred Natty Bumppo, a fearless frontiersmen raised by a group of Native Americans from Delaware known as the Mohicans. This novel series impacted people's views of Native Americans at the time, and one novel, The Last of the Mohicans, still remains an American classic today. Cooper is also credited for being a contributor to the environmental movement, writing novels like The Pioneers and The Prairie, addressing the problem that America is exhausting too many of it's natural resources and we will end up running out of resources. A warning heeded by later readers of his novels. His experience in the Navy also impacted his writing, inspiring him to write History of The Navy of the United States of America, trying write a factual history book. He also wrote fictional stories of naval adventures, including Afloat and Ashore and Miles Wallingford: A Sequel to Afloat and Ashore. Cooper was a classic American writer who allowed his readers to see America through the eyes of a multitude of different characters.
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Major Works

Precaution (1820)

The Spy (1821)

The Pioneers (1823)

The Pilot (1823)

Lionel Lincoln (1824)

The Last of the Mohicans (1826)

The Prairie (1827)

The Red Rover (1827)

The Wept of Wish-Ton-Wish (1829)

The Water Witch (1830)

The Bravo (1831)

The Heidenmauer (1832)

The Headsman (1833)

The Monikins (1835)

Homeward Bound (1838)

Home as Found (1838)

The Pathfinder (1840)

Mercedes of Castile (1840)

The Deerslayer (1841)

The Two Admirals (1842)

The Wing-and-Wing (1842)

Wyandotte (1843)

Ned Myers (1843)

Afloat and Ashore (1844)

Miles Wallingford : A Sequel to Afloat and Ashore (1844)

Satanstoe (1845)

The Chain Bearer (1845)

The Redskins (1846)

The Crater (1847)

The Ways of the Hour (1850)


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