Afloat and Ashore

( 34 )

Overview

James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) was a prolific and popular American writer of the early 19th century. He is particularly remembered as a novelist, who wrote numerous sea-stories as well as the historical romances known as the Leatherstocking Tales, featuring frontiersman Natty Bumppo. Among his most famous works is the Romantic novel The Last of the Mohicans, which many people consider his masterpiece. Other works include Precaution (1820), The Spy (1821), The Pioneers (1823), The Red Rover (1828), The Wept of ...
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Overview

James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) was a prolific and popular American writer of the early 19th century. He is particularly remembered as a novelist, who wrote numerous sea-stories as well as the historical romances known as the Leatherstocking Tales, featuring frontiersman Natty Bumppo. Among his most famous works is the Romantic novel The Last of the Mohicans, which many people consider his masterpiece. Other works include Precaution (1820), The Spy (1821), The Pioneers (1823), The Red Rover (1828), The Wept of Wish-ton-Wish (1829), The Notions of a Traveling Bachelor (1828), The Waterwitch (1830), The Bravo (1831), The Monikins (1835), The American Democrat (1835), Homeward Bound (1839), Home as Found (1838), A History of the Navy of the United States (1839), The Pathfinder (1840), Mercedes of Castile (1840), The Deerslayer (1841), Ned Myers (1843) and The Ways of the Hour (1850).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781404375000
  • Publisher: IndyPublish.com
  • Publication date: 8/28/2003
  • Pages: 444

Meet the Author

James Fenimore Cooper
James Fenimore Cooper was born in 1789 in New Jersey, the son of a wealthy land agent who founded Cooperstown in New York State. Cooper attended Yale, but was expelled in 1805 and spent five years at sea on merchant then naval ships. He married in 1811, and eventually settled in New York. Precaution, Cooper's first novel, was written in 1820 as a study of English manners; its successors, The Spy and The Pilot, written within the next three years, were more characteristic of the vein of military or seagoing romance that was to become typical of him. In 1823 he began the Leatherstocking Tales series of novels, centred on a shared Native American character at different periods of his life, for which he is chiefly remembered. Cooper's reputation as one of America's leading authors was quickly established, and spread to Europe by a long stay there from 1826, making him one of the first American writers popular beyond that country. After his return to America in 1832, however, conservative political essays and novels dramatising similar views, as well as critiques of American society and abuses of democracy, led to a decline in his popularity. James Fenimore Cooper died in 1851.

Biography

James Cooper (he added the Fenimore when he was in his 30s) was born September 15, 1789, in Burlington, New Jersey, to William Cooper and Elizabeth Fenimore Cooper. In 1790 the family moved to the frontier country of upstate New York, where William established a village he called Cooperstown. Although cushioned by wealth and William's status as landlord and judge, the Coopers found pioneering to be rugged, and only 7 of the 13 Cooper children survived their early years. All the hardship notwithstanding, according to family reports, the young James loved the wilderness. Years later, he wrote The Pioneers (1823) about Cooperstown in the 1790s, but many of his other books draw deeply on his childhood experiences of the frontier as well.

Cooper was sent to Yale in 1801 but he was expelled in 1805 for setting off an explosion in another student's room. Afterward, as a midshipman in the fledgling U.S. Navy, he made Atlantic passages and served at an isolated post on Lake Ontario. Cooper resigned his commission in 1811 to marry Susan Augusta De Lancey, the daughter of a wealthy New York State family. During the next decade, however, a series of bad investments and legal entanglements reduced his inheritance to the verge of bankruptcy.

Cooper was already 30 years old when, on a dare from his wife, he became a writer. One evening he threw down, in disgust, a novel he was reading aloud to her, saying he could write a better book himself. Susan, who knew that he disliked writing even letters, expressed her doubts. To prove her wrong he wrote Precaution, which was published anonymously in 1820. Encouraged by favorable reviews, Cooper wrote other books in quick succession, and by the time The Last of the Mohicans, his sixth novel, was published in 1827, he was internationally famous as America's first professionally successful novelist. Eventually he published 32 novels, as well as travel books and histories. Cooper invented the genre of nautical fiction, and in the figure of Nathaniel or "Natty" Bumppo (Hawkeye in The Last of the Mohicans) -- the central character in the five Leatherstocking Tales Cooper published between 1823 and 1841 -- he gave American fiction its first great hero.

Shortly after publishing The Last of the Mohicans, Cooper moved his family to Europe, but in 1833 he returned to America, moving back into his father's restored Mansion House in Cooperstown. He died there on September 14, 1851.

Author biography courtesy of Barnes & Noble Books.

Good To Know

Cooper was expelled from Yale due to his passion for pranks, which included training a donkey to sit in a professor's chair and setting a fellow student's room on fire.

Between 1822 and 1826 Cooper lived in New York City, and was a major player on its intellectual scene. He founded the Bread and Cheese Club, which had many high-profile members, including notable painters of the Hudson River School and writers like William Cullen Bryant.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      September 15, 1789
    2. Place of Birth:
      Burlington, New Jersey
    1. Date of Death:
      September 14, 1851
    2. Place of Death:
      Cooperstown, New York
    1. Education:
      Yale University (expelled in 1805)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 34 )
Rating Distribution

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(28)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    "Surprisers musn't be surprised."

    The hero of AFLOAT AND ASHORE is young Miles Wallingford, born around 1780 in New York. His father had been a sailor. Like generations of Wallingfords, Miles was born on Clawbonny, a 500-acre farm up a creek from the Hudson River. The early deaths of both parents left Miles and younger sister Grace heirs to a prosperous, if modest estate. The youngsters had been left in charge of the local Anglican parish priest, Rev. Hardinge, a poor widower with two children of his own, Rupert and Lucy. The four children grew up as four closely knit loving siblings.

    AFLOAT AND ASHORE is the well-balanced first part of a two-novel tale (MILES WALLINGFORD is the follow-on). I pass over in this review five important elements of the novel as follows:

    -- the bad character of young Rupert Hardinge and its destructive impact on the other three children;

    -- the romantic love that grew between Faith Wallingford and Rupert and between Lucy Hardinge and Miles Wallingford;

    -- the role of organized Anglican religion among the Hardinges, Wallingfords and the surprisingly numerous black slaves inherited by Miles and Grace;

    -- life among and attitudes of the slaves of Clawbonny Farm;

    -- Insights into other important characters such as Miles's young slave Nebuchadnezzar "Neb" Clawbonny (all the Wallingford slaves bore that surname), retired British Major Merton and his beautiful daughter Emily and wealthy young Andrew Drewett (who strenuously woos Lucy Hardinge, to our hero Miles Wallingford's evident dismay).

    AFLOAT AND ASHORE is a straightforward tale of Miles's years at sea on two trading voyages(1797 - 1798) and 1799 - 1803) and his time back in New York between the first voyage to Canton, China and during decisive weeks just after the second voyage -- one around the world.

    For the first jaunt, Rupert persuades Miles to run off with him to sea, without informing Rev. Hardinge. Miles proves himself a born sailor and distinguishes himself on the voyage while Rupert shows his lazy side and resolves at voyage's end to become a land-bound New York lawyer.

    On the second voyage, Miles, third mate of the good ship Crisis, is surprised and captured, the ship's captain being tomahawked, on the Oregon coast by fiendishly clever American Indians ostensibly peaceably trading furs. When surprised, Miles was on deck watch, lost in memories of his home and young Lucy Hardinge. Everyone else is trapped below deck. Miles redeems himself, however, by tricking the Indian leader, and the ship is recovered.

    Later, deep in the Pacific, the Crisis discovers an apparently uninhabited coral island. Once again, with guard down, the ship is captured -- this time by undetected French sailors who had been wrecked there. How could this have happened to normally alert American seamen? Fortunately, Miles and nearly 40 others shortly sail after the French and recapture by surprise their own vessel -- in a newly built boat left behind for them by the gallant French captain. Much earlier Miles had been part of the surprise capture of a French vessel, the USA and France being briefly at war.

    Miles's new Captain and earlier First Mate, Moses Marble, philosophize about surprise captures as a recurring element of life at sea. Miles's conclusion is that "Surprisers musn't be surprised." Generalizing from this maxim, we see that the tragedy of this novel is how Miles and others are constantly "surprised" by the evil behavior of Rupert.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2014

    Toxin

    *pads awaya*

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2013

    Envy

    "Actually, I am," he said softly. "I am a cat. As well as a wolf." A dark haze went over Envy as he transformed back into his original self. When the haze went away, a small orange and grey kit layed there. When he looked up you could see his eyes were amber, but the left one was still branded. "I aged as a wolf. Not as a cat because I was too afraid to go back to being me." His voice came out as a high pitched squeak. "I never aged as the cat I was supposed to be. But I doubt you recognize me. No one probably would."

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2013

    Titanium

    Titanium yawned, and curled back up.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2013

    Envy 2

    Read the post called 'Envy'

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2013

    Bramblepaw

    Pads in to retrieve her painting supplies, which include four paintbrushes, a hollowed-out rock canister of mashed red DeathBerry paint, another of crushed blue-green Juniper Berry paint, several sharpened sticks for sketching, and another hollowed-out rock canister with water in it. After gathering all of her supplies, she walks back to Typhoon.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2013

    Runes

    Runes comes out. She rolls a soaked moss at Bramblepaw. A vision of Bramblepaw drinking it. It smells like an unknown substance. Perhaps she'll tell you later.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2013

    Torn

    *looks between them and shifts uncomfortably* well not everyone can get along....

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2013

    Torn

    Thas it im oing to the battle *pelts away*

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2013

    Lerhal and phenom

    They pad in.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2013

    Blazin

    *gets up and tackles glitter holding her down*

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2013

    Nitehawk

    Broken if you get killed over this....im telling your daughter.look i get you want to protect star. I do too. But he can call her what he likes but we know the truth of who she is. And if it means her being safe so be it. Im leaving" he flicked his tail.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2013

    Iceshard

    Pads in

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2013

    Flameheart

    Carries in firekit

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2013

    Virgo

    Im back

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2013

    Glitter

    Follows

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2013

    Valleyheart

    Im so tred!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2013

    Morningmoon Adventurekit Sapphirepaw

    Morningmoon padded in with her sister and kit. Sapphirepaw looked at them. "May we join?"

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2013

    GMVSA

    But at 'precaution' it said to move here. -_-

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2013

    Mintshadow

    Yawns

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews

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