Deerslayer (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Overview

The Deerslayer, by James Fenimore Cooper, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:
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Deerslayer

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Overview

The Deerslayer, by James Fenimore Cooper, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:
  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.

“Live by your own council. Be brave in the face of the unknown. Be always fair.”
-Natty Bumppo, The Deerslayer

One of the greatest heroes in American literature, Natty Bumppo is the rugged frontiersman of James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales, a series of five novels that includes The Last of the Mohicans and The Deerslayer. Although the final volume to be written, The Deerslayer is the first in the chronology of Natty Bumppo’s life, depicting the character as a young man testing himself in the wilderness, and against enemies, for the first time.

Set in the 1740’s just as the French and Indian wars have begun, the novel opens as Natty Bumppo—known as Deerslayer—and his friend Hurry Harry travel to Tom Hutter’s house in upstate New York. Hurry plans to marry Tom’s beautiful daughter Judith, while Deerslayer has come to help his close friend Chingachgook save his bride-to-be, Wah-ta-Wah, from the Huron Indians. When war breaks out, and Hurry and Tom are captured by Indians, Deerslayer must go on his first warpath to rescue them.

One of the earliest novels to be considered truly “American," The Deerslayer is a masterpiece of suspense, adventure, and romance.

Bruce L. R. Smith is a fellow at the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University. He is the author or editor of sixteen scholarly books, and he continues to lecture widely in the United States and abroad.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593082116
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble
  • Publication date: 7/1/2005
  • Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 137,412
  • Product dimensions: 5.19 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.52 (d)

Meet the Author

James Fenimore Cooper
Bruce L. R. Smith is a fellow at the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University. He is the author or editor of sixteen scholarly books, and he continues to lecture widely in the United States and abroad.

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)

Read an Excerpt

From Bruce L. R. Smith’s Introduction to The Deerslayer

James Fenimore Cooper’s literary reputation has undergone striking vicissitudes over the years. Hailed in his lifetime (1789–1851) as America’s first great novelist and lionized throughout the Western world, he fell into the literary doldrums at the end of the nineteenth century (in his own country at least) and languished there for many years. So complete was his fall that he became almost an object of ridicule among critics and literary commissioners. Later generations found it hard to imagine that he had once been an icon in the American literary canon. More recently, however, there has been a revival of interest in Cooper and a reconsideration of his literary reputation.

His death in Cooperstown on September 14, 1851, and a memorial service held the next month in New York City brought tributes from Daniel Webster, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Washington Irving, Henry Longfellow, William Cullen Bryant, and other leading American men of letters. In Europe, Thackeray, Balzac, Goethe, Scott, Lafayette, Carlyle, Sand, and Sue were among the many admirers of Cooper’s writings. So were, later, Joseph Conrad, who paid tribute in particular to Cooper’s seafaring works, and D. H. Lawrence, who was so inspired by Cooper’s treatment of the frontier that he came to spend several years living in the American West. Cooper was probably even more popular in Europe than he was in his own country, and he earned much of the money he made as America’s first successful professional writer from overseas sales of his works.

A controversialist, Cooper provoked unease from his countrymen as well as veneration. His popularity waned after his return to America in 1833 from a seven-year absence spent traveling in Europe; upon his return, he criticized the materialism and crassness he saw in America that had changed for the worse. He was not afraid to join in political fights and to hit back at enemies—he became something of a public scold in his later years, and he emulated his father’s recourse to the courts to redress wrongs. He stirred the ire of Whig newspaper publishers who had always distrusted him and disliked, in particular, his novels Homeward Bound (1838) and Home as Found (1838). He was variously assailed at different times for being too Jacksonian and hostile to authority, and for being too aristocratic and class conscious. It is doubtful, however, whether Cooper really felt comfortable with any political party, and his political ideas certainly did not add up to a coherent political philosophy. He was nominally a Jackson Democrat but had a strong distrust of populist sentiments and of demagogues who stirred up the uneducated masses. Although a charming and gregarious man in his youth, Cooper came to be almost a recluse in later years and at times displayed a gift for making enemies. Many of the attacks on Cooper, though, were libelous, for he won the suits he instituted.

Cooper was wedded to his upstate New York region but was also a cosmopolitan who traveled widely; he was a romantic spinner of tales but also a realist who closely observed social mores, manners, and class status even in his novels set in the wilderness. Cooper was an optimist but one with a paranoid streak and a dark side. He lived mostly in the company of women but wrote mostly about men, male friendships, and heroes who broke free of or who never knew the bonds of domesticity. Cooper was as hard a man to understand for his contemporaries as he is for us now. Was he a reactionary or a man ahead of his times, an apologist for white America or a champion of Native Americans? Did he affirm the conquest of the wilderness or was he an early ecologist? As Robert Emmet Long comments, “Two centuries after his birth, he remains an American enigma” (James Fenimore Cooper, p. 13; see “For Further Reading”).

Yet for all of the controversy his life stirred, Cooper’s literary reputation remained largely intact until the end of the nineteenth century. He was, indeed, a cultural icon in a broad sense. His fiction redefined the past for the country, invented the idea of the Western frontier, and gave Americans a mythic sense of themselves and their destiny. He was a patron of the visual arts. Cooper’s writings stimulated interest in American history and fostered the professional writing of history, even though his novels often subordinated historical reality to archetype and myth. His interest in the Navy was genuine and was grounded in firsthand experience, and he was familiar with many of the personages he wrote about in The History of the Navy of the United States of America (1839), which was a classic study of its kind. Cooper’s friend George Bancroft, the distinguished Harvard historian, interpreted the American Revolution in terms similar to the story lines and subtexts of Cooper’s novels dealing with the revolution, and he patterned his style of narrative history writing after Cooper’s narrative techniques. Moreover, Cooper did much to fashion and to expand the popular audience for his novels (and for the writers who followed him). His works were issued and reissued after his death.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 100 )
Rating Distribution

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(70)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

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2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 123 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.

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  • 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.

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

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2014

    Whiteout bio

    Male mateless. Not really looking. No kits. Np crush. Loyal and strong and a skilled hunter. Warrior and proud of it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2014

    Radiohearts bio

    Hi. I am a tom named is radioheart. My eyes are bright red and my pelt is dark orange and light grey. I have no siblings. And no crushes or mates.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2014

    Radioheart

    Ok. Gtgtb.ttyt.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

    Deathclaw

    Who use to be the leader here

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