The Prairie (Barnes & Noble Digital Library)

The Prairie (Barnes & Noble Digital Library)

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by James Fenimore Cooper
     
 

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This edition includes a modern introduction and a list of suggested further reading.
 

James Fenimore Cooper's The Prairie is the last episode in the Leatherstocking Tales. Set on the Great Plains just after the Louisiana Purchase, the frontier novel recounts the story of the aging trapper Natty Bumppo. The novel involves a

Overview


This edition includes a modern introduction and a list of suggested further reading.
 

James Fenimore Cooper's The Prairie is the last episode in the Leatherstocking Tales. Set on the Great Plains just after the Louisiana Purchase, the frontier novel recounts the story of the aging trapper Natty Bumppo. The novel involves a series of conflicts between white settlers and rivaling Native American tribes. It communicates the destruction of natural resources and the tragic eradication of native peoples resulting from America's expansionist ideology.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781411466500
Publisher:
Barnes & Noble
Publication date:
03/13/2012
Series:
Barnes & Noble Digital Library
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
448
File size:
743 KB

Meet the Author



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.

Brief Biography

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

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The Prairie 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
THE PRAIRIE begins in 1804, 500 miles west of the Mississippi River and ends there a year later. The land now belongs to the USA, after the purchase of Louisiana. Rogers and Clark are exploring farther north. *** Nathaniel 'Natty' Bumppo aka Hawkeye, Deerslayer, Pathfinder and other evolving names is 87 years old. He no longer thinks of himself as a hunter but a simple trapper of furs and hides. He runs afoul of a crude family led by Ishmael Bush, all rugged individualists like himelf. They are traveling with an eccentric medical doctor who is also a naturalist exploring new flora and fauna. They have kidnapped, without the doctor's knowledge, the beautiful daughter of the richest Creole in newly purchased Louisiana. Natty throws in as an ally of various parties: her army Captain fiance who is on her trail, a wandering bee trailer and a large band of benign Pawnees to see justice done. *** In the process of setting free two women unwillingly with the Bushes, Natty and others skirmish with thieving Sioux who set the prairie on fire to trap the rescuers and the two young women, including the refined niece of one of the rascally group. In the end, the paterfamilias of the Bush family squatters does rough frontier justice to all parties, including imposing a brutal death sentence on his wife's brother who had killed their eldest son. *** Read THE PRAIRIE for its description of an American west in which white men were still rare, and for the final months of Natty Bumppo, a haunting figure who catches much of the pioneering American spirit that made America America. The writing is vivid, memorable and the history of the frontier is of seminal importance. -OOO-
Guest More than 1 year ago
I actually enjoyed this more than The Last of the Mohicans, Cooper's most popular book. The Prairie tells a very interesting story, and no detail is too trivial to be excluded. Overall, although it certainly drifted into excess obscurity at times, in a larger scope The Prairie was an extemely rewarding read. It's worthy to note that the historical context of this book seems to be quite accurate.
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Is it any good?