The Deerslayer [NOOK Book]

Overview

The Deerslayer (1841) is the last-written of Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales, but the first in the development of the hero, Natty Bumppo. Here, Cooper returns Leatherstocking to his youth and to a pristine wilderness that D. H. Lawrence said was perhaps 'lovelier than any place created in language'.

This novel, and the contemporaneous The Pathfinder, mark Cooper's return to historical romance after more than a decade given largely to social and...
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The Deerslayer

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Overview

The Deerslayer (1841) is the last-written of Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales, but the first in the development of the hero, Natty Bumppo. Here, Cooper returns Leatherstocking to his youth and to a pristine wilderness that D. H. Lawrence said was perhaps 'lovelier than any place created in language'.

This novel, and the contemporaneous The Pathfinder, mark Cooper's return to historical romance after more than a decade given largely to social and political commentary. Written during the period of Cooper's bitter legal battles with the Whig press, The Deerslayer reflects a retreat from his difficulties into a world of romance; but the novel also symbolically attacks Cooper's opponents and implicitly provides a critique of nineteenth-century American society.

In the Introduction H. Daniel Peck offers an explanation for The Deerslayer's mysterious power over twentieth-century readers, showing how the novel's patterns of adventurous action dramatize issues of possession and loss. This edition provides the authoritative text of the novel. - ;The Deerslayer (1841) is the last-written of Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales, but the first in the development of the hero, Natty Bumppo. Here, Cooper returns Leatherstocking to his youth and to a pristine wilderness that D. H. Lawrence said was perhaps 'lovelier than any place created in language'.

This novel, and the contemporaneous The Pathfinder, mark Cooper's return to historical romance after more than a decade given largely to social and political commentary. Written during the period of Cooper's bitter legal battles with the Whig press, The Deerslayer reflects a retreat from his difficulties into a world of romance; but the novel also symbolically attacks Cooper's opponents and implicitly provides a critique of nineteenth-century American society.

In the Introduction H. Daniel Peck offers an explanation for The Deerslayer's mysterious power over twentieth-century readers, showing how the novel's patterns of adventurous action dramatize issues of possession and loss. This edition provides the authoritative text of the novel. - ;Introduction; Note on the Text; Select Bibliography; A Chronology of James Fenimore Cooper; Preface to he Deerslayer (1841); Preface to the Leatherstocking Tales (1850); Preface to The Deerslayer (1850); The Deerslayer; Explanatory Notes. -

Follows the adventures of the brave and bold frontiersman, Natty Bumpo.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780191611247
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, UK
  • Publication date: 4/22/1993
  • Series: Oxford World's Classics Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) grew up at Otsego Hall, his father’s manorial estate near Lake Otsego in upstate New York. Educated at Yale, he spent five years at sea, as a foremast hand and then as a midshipman in the navy. At thirty he was suddenly plunged into a literary career when his wife challenged his claim that he could write a better book that the English novel he was reading to her. The result was Precaution (1820), a novel of manners. His second book, The Spy (1821), was an immediate success, and with The Pioneers (1823) he began his series of Leatherstocking Tales. By 1826 when The Last of the Mohicans appeared, his standing as a major novelist was clearly established. From 1826 to 1833 Cooper and his family lived and traveled in France, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany. Two of his most successful works, The Prairie and The Red Rover, were published in 1827. He returned to Otsego Hall in 1834, and after a series of relatively unsuccessful books of essays, travel sketches, and history, he returned to fiction – and to Leatherstocking – with The Pathfinder (1840) and The Deerslayer (1841). In his last decade he faced declining popularity brought on in part by his waspish attacks on critics and political opponents. Just before his death in 1851 an edition of his works led to a reappraisal of his fiction and somewhat restored his reputation as the first of American writers.

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Read an Excerpt

From the Introduction by Leslie A. Fiedler

In 1789, the year James Fenimore Cooper was born, the thirteen North Americancade he enjoyed a leisured existence as a gentleman farmer on inherited lands in both Cooperstown and Westchester County. Popular legend holds that Cooper turned to writing when his wife jokingly suggested that he attempt a novel, but it is now known thatme a gentleman farmer and householder. The one thing he still needed was a proper wife, which he was lucky enough to find in Susan DeLancey. She, as he already knew, came from a family richer and more securely upper class than his own and, as he learned, was also an affable, intelligent woman who was fond of reading. Cooper was content with this, yet at first he did not join her when she was busy with her books but indulged in the male pastimes of hunting and hiking in the nearby hills.

After Susan had given birth to four daughters, to whom she at first read and then taught to read to each other, Cooper would stay close enough to wherever they were reading to hear them. Surely some of the erotic and sentimental passages read in the voices of those he loved must have moved him deeply. But there is no record of any positive responses on his part. A single negative one, however, is recorded in almost everything that has ever been written about him.

One time, those accounts tell us, annoyed by the ineptitude of the text being read, he cried out, “Why do you waste time and money reading trash that anybody who can spell his own name could write better. Even me!” To this Susan is said to have answered–jokingly, according to some–“Why don’t you give it a try? I’d love to see you try.” Cooper responded that he would and, surprisingly enough, did, finally producing a full-length imitation of Jane Austen. When it was in print he would tell anyone who would listen that he was now a professional writer who would write fifty more books–and sell them. This almost no one believed he would do, and many wished he would not even try.

Though Cooper was aware that neither the critics nor the general reader were interested in any more Jane Austen clones, he felt he had to keep on writing because the family inheritance on which he had been living had begun to shrink, and at the same time it had become much more expensive to feed, clothe, and educate his growing daughters. What he really wanted to write was another book that saw the world through female eyes and talked about it in a female voice. In fact, he continued for a little while to experiment with transvestite fiction, even publishing two such short stories under the female pseudonym of Jane Morgan.

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Table of Contents

A Note on the Text vi
Introduction vii
Further Reading xxvi
Preface to the First Edition (1841) 1
Preface to the Leather-Stocking Tales (1850) 5
Preface to Deerslayer (1850) 11
The Deerslayer 13
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Reading Group Guide

1. Though The Deerslayer is the last of the Leatherstocking Tales to be published, its events actually occur first chronologically. How, if at all, does this inform the tone of the novel?

2. Discuss the role of the landscape and the role of women in The Deerslayer. Fiedler discusses their threat to the exalted male camaraderie, particularly in the relationship of Natty and Chingachgook throughout the Leatherstocking Tales; how does Judith’s fate speak to this?

3. In his Introduction, Leslie A. Fiedler likens Cooper to a sort of American Sir Walter Scott. Does The Deerslayer strike you as a similar kind of heroic romance? Why or why not?

4. At publication, many critics disagreed with Cooper’s treatment of Judith in the novel. Discuss.

5. How does The Deerslayer establish Natty’s developing moral consciousness? What parallels or distinctions does Cooper draw between Natty and Henry March? According to Cooper, what characteristics are essential for survival on the frontier? How does he convey this?

6. Fiedler discusses Cooper’s critical maligning in the literature canon. Do you agree with Mark Twain’s assessment, mentioned in the Introduction? Why or why not? What is it about Cooper and the Leatherstocking Tales that has made them endure, in your opinion?

7. What is Cooper’s assessment of the parity between the white man and the Indian, as reflected in The Deerslayer? Is the relationship between Natty and Chingachgook an aberration or an ideal? Is The Deerslayer ultimately an optimistic work or not?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 100 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(70)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 100 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2013

    Captivating

    Absolutely captivating

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 28, 2009

    Excellent Book

    This book should be in every person's library.It is well written and based on
    American history which all American citizens should know I am pleased to be
    a member of Barnes and Noble which sells these works of classic literature at
    prices that are affordable.
    Please note that I am using a different e-mail address
    my previous e-mail address was harry.sheather@verizon.net

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 7, 2003

    Deerslayer: slow start, action packed ending

    A little slow getting past the first 150 pages, but the story starts to pick up from that point until about page 400. Then it is nonstop, can't-put-the-book-down excitement!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 30, 2002

    Awesome!

    Just finished reading it, and I loved it! i will say that it can be hard to understand at some times. I usually will day dream while I'm reading, but this book kept hold of me. I wouldn't recommend it for someone around 13 and under. I think it was great!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted August 23, 2006

    Even Better than the Last of the Mohicans

    Although the best known title in Cooper's Leatherstocking series is the Last of the Mohicans, the first book (the Deerslayer) and the third book (the Pathfinder) are better. Cooper wrote these two books later and they definately show an improvement in writing and plot synthesis.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted November 11, 2002

    Um...snore?

    Is it just me, or did this book come out during the stoneage? I couldn't focus, the author was far too repetive, and, if you ask me, my grandmother is the only ofther person on the planet that uses that much detail. But, on a much nicer note, it was very neatly written, had a good plot that deserved at leat one star. Alas, this one got three.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted August 7, 2002

    Hawkeye's fist warpath

    I really enjoyed reading this book. In truth, it is long and can at times be monotonous and repetitive. However, this book is a good look at the virgin forest and the stout inhabitants that dwelt in its heart. There are some very good highlights, mainly towards the end, but there are sure some lulls and places where Deerslayer is too perfect and too talkative. Still, I was thoroughly satisfied with the book and the author, even though a joke or two about his style will surely pop into your head. I wish I could give Deerslayer five stars, but it isn't really as outstanding as other 5 star books. Overall, a good relaxing read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 14, 2001

    Deerslayer

    Good setting and plot but challenging to read. I would not recommend it to anyone younger that me.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 2, 2014

    Gwen

    Is here.

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

    Posted January 29, 2014

    Jaypaw

    Pads in. "Can I join?"

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

    Posted January 29, 2014

    Ashclaw

    *nods* Thanks.

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

    Posted January 29, 2014

    Shadowleap

    He padded in. "Hello. May i join?" He meowed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2014

    Join

    Frostclan we need warriors apprentices queens elders and med cat badly. Join at frost res one. We rp realisticly and try to rp constently. Sincerly, ~Froststar~

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

    Posted January 29, 2014

    Flamepelt

    Ok.

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

    Posted January 18, 2014

    Frostfur

    Tries to make skystar feel better

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

    Posted January 17, 2014

    Whiteout

    You may join

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

    Posted January 16, 2014

    Radioheart

    Ok. Gtgtb.ttyt.

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

    Posted December 11, 2013

    Deathclaw

    Who use to be the leader here

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

    Posted November 24, 2013

    TawnyPaw

    *A slender auburn shecat with hazel eyes pads in* may l join?

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

    Posted November 24, 2013

    Lionsroar IMPORTANT

    Will you join us on a quest to destroy bloodclan if you do go to burn res3 we are attacking tonight.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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