James Fenimore Cooper: The Later Years

James Fenimore Cooper: The Later Years

by Wayne Franklin


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A definitive new biography of James Fenimore Cooper, early nineteenth century master of American popular fiction

American author James Fenimore Cooper (1789–1851) has been credited with inventing and popularizing a wide variety of genre fiction, including the Western, the spy novel, the high seas adventure tale, and the Revolutionary War romance. America’s first crusading novelist, Cooper reminds us that literature is not a cloistered art; rather, it ought to be intimately engaged with the world.
In this second volume of his definitive biography, Wayne Franklin concentrates on the latter half of Cooper’s life, detailing a period of personal and political controversy, far-ranging international travel, and prolific literary creation. We hear of Cooper’s progressive views on race and slavery, his doubts about American expansionism, and his concern about the future prospects of the American Republic, while observing how his groundbreaking career management paved the way for later novelists to make a living through their writing. Franklin offers readers the most comprehensive portrait to date of this underappreciated American literary icon.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300135718
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 04/25/2017
Pages: 840
Sales rank: 1,216,131
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 2.10(d)

About the Author

Wayne Franklin is professor of English at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. His biography James Fenimore Cooper: The Early Years was selected as an Outstanding Academic Title in 2008 by the AAUP and Choice magazine. He lives in Hebron, CT.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction ix

1 From Manhattan to Paris 1

2 London and the Alps 31

3 Italian Skies 63

4 Imaginary Politics 91

5 Republican Principles 124

6 Rough Homecoming 153

7 Public Versus Private 185

8 Libels on Libels 213

9 A Legacy Reclaimed 251

10 Piecework and Patchwork 278

11 At Sea 315

12 Coming on Shore 352

13 Florida and the Pacific 385

14 Speculations 426

15 Last Words 468

16 Endings 502

Appendix: Cooper's Libel Suits 539

List of Abbreviations 543

Notes 551

Index 773

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