The life and times of james fenimore cooper

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The life and times of james fenimore cooper

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

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 Pioneersfollowed 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.

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 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.

Early years

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 and his youth in The Deerslayer 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.

Cabeza de Vaca, Alvar Núñez

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 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.

Between and 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. Through his novels, most notably The Bravoand 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, inhe refused to let local citizens picnic on a family property known as Three Mile Point.

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.

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 Democrator even in such political satires as The Monikins or Home As Found Though his circumstances were never straitened, he had to go on writing; and some of the later novels, such as Mercedes of Castile or Jack Tier —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.James Fenimore Cooper was a 19th-century American novelist, best known for his Leatherstocking Tales, which included The Last of the Mohicans.

The life and times of james fenimore cooper

Child actor Jackie Cooper was in the Our Gang short Born: Sep 15, + free ebooks online. Did you know that you can help us produce ebooks by proof-reading just one page a day?

Go to: Distributed Proofreaders. James Fenimore Cooper Biography, Life, Interesting Facts Rundown. James Fenimore Cooper was born on September 15th, in Burlington, New Jersey in the United States. Cooper was a famous American writer who rose to fame during the 19th century. His writing career took off after wagering with his wife.

James Fenimore Cooper (September 15, – September 14, ) was an American writer of the first half of the 19th century. His historical romances draw a picture of frontier and American Indian life in the early American days which created a unique form of American Historical fiction.

Promoting the study of the life and works of James Fenimore Cooper () Encouraging the enjoyment of his 32 novels, and appreciation of his ideas Providing useful information to students, scholars, and readers A special section is devoted to the life and works of Cooper's eldest daughter. James Fenimore Cooper was born on September 15, in Burlington, New Jersey, the eleventh of twelve children.

When he was one year old, he moved with parents William and Elizabeth to Cooperstown on Ostego Lake in central New York.

James Fenimore Cooper - Wikipedia