1839 History Of The U.S. Navy J.Fennimore Cooper

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  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Apr 21, 2008
  • Channel: Auction House


James Fenimore Cooper

Born: 15-Sep -1789
Birthplace: Burlington, NJ
Died: 14-Sep -1851
Location of death: Otsego Hall, Cooperstown, NY
Cause of death: Liver Failure

Gender: Male
Religion: Protestant
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Novelist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: The Last of the Mohicans

Military service: US Navy (midshipman)

American novelist, born at Burlington, New Jersey on the 15th of September 1789. Reared in the wild country round Otsego Lake, New York, on the yet unsettled estates of his father, a judge and member of Congress, he was sent to school at Albany and at New Haven, and entered Yale College in his fourteenth year, remaining for some time the youngest student on the rolls. Three years afterwards he joined the United States Navy; but after making a voyage or two in a merchant vessel, to perfect himself in seamanship, and obtaining his lieutenancy, he married and resigned his commission (1811). He settled in Westchester county, New York, the "Neutral Ground" of his earliest American romance, and produced anonymously

At this period the unequal and uncertain talent of Cooper would seem to have been at its best. These excellent novels were, however, succeeded by one very inferior, The Wept of Wish-ton-Wish (1829); by The Notions of a Travelling Bachelor (1828), an uninteresting book; and by The Waterwitch (1830), one of the poorest of his many sea stories. In 1830 he entered the lists as a party writer, defending in a series of letters to the National , a Parisian journal, the United States against a string of charges brought against them by the Revue Britannique ; and for the rest of his life he continued skirmishing in print, sometimes for the national interest, sometimes for that of the individual, and not infrequently for both at once. This opportunity of making a political confession of faith appears not only to have fortified him in his own convictions, but to have inspired him with the idea of imposing them on the public through the medium of his art. His next three novels, The Bravo (1831), The Heidenmauer (1832) and The Headsman: or the Abbaye of Vigneron (1833), were designed to exalt the people at the expense of the aristocracy. Of these the first is by no means a bad story, but the others are among the dullest ever written; all were widely read on both sides of the Atlantic.

In 1833 Cooper returned to America, and immediately published A Letter to my Countrymen , in which he gave his own version of the controversy he had been engaged in, and passed some sharp censure on his compatriots for their share in it. This attack he followed up with The Monikins (1835) and The American Democrat (1835); with several sets of notes on his travels and experiences in Europe, among which may be remarked his England (1837), in three volumes, a burst of vanity and ill-temper; and with Homeward Bound , and Home as Found (1838), noticeable as containing a highly idealized portrait of himself. All these books tended to increase the ill-feeling between author and public; the Whig press was virulent and scandalous in its comments, and Cooper plunged into a series of actions for libel. Victorious i...

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