Every chronicle of manners has a certain value. When customs are connected with principles, in their origin, development, or end, such records have a double importance; and it is because we think we see such a connection between the facts and incidents of the Littlepage Manuscripts, and certain important theories of our own time, that we give the former to the world.
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Every chronicle of manners has a certain value. When customs are connected with principles, in their origin, development, or end, such records have a double importance; and it is because we think we see such a connection between the facts and incidents of the Littlepage Manuscripts, and certain important theories of our own time, that we give the former to the world.
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Editorial Reviews

A charming experiment in fiction, Satanstoe combines nostalgic autobiographical recollections, pictures of manners, action and adventure, and social philosophy within its narrative of colonial life and society in New York State in the middle of the 18th century. The text is approved by the Committee on Scholarly Editions of the MLA, and the volume includes an historical introduction and explanatory notes. Paper edition (unseen), $14.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412160346
  • Publisher: eBooksLib
  • Publication date: 4/21/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,344,144
  • File size: 508 KB

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.


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)

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Are Indians too uncivilized to become Christians?

    In 1751 Cornelius ("Corny") Littlepage was 14. He passed through York City (Manhattan) en route to beginning college in New Jersey at the future Princeton. During a street festival he first met gorgeous 11 year old Anne Mordaunt, called "Anneke." He gave her some fruit. A lower class boy knocked an apple from Anneke's hand and made her cry. Corny then trounced the other lad. <BR/><BR/>In 1757 Corny and Anneke meet again and are properly introduced. In another street festival he rescues her when a caged lion wraps his paw around her shawl. In the next spring, during a sleigh outing on the Hudson river from Albany to Kinderhook and back, Corny coolly saves himself and his love Anneke when the ice breaks up. Finally, in July 1758 he protects her yet again. He has made his way back to her after the disastrous assault 40 miles away by 16,000 British troops on French-held Ticonderoga. Corny and others, including the novel's young Achilles, 24 year old Duerck Ten Eyck, beat the Hurons off from two land grants made to colonists and save Anneke and her best girl friend Mary Wallace, age 19. During the Huron attack, Anneke has finally admitted her love to her protector. They marry in October 1758 and found the dynasty described in two sequels by Cooper. <BR/><BR/>In 1967 George Dekker, in JAMES FENIMORE COOPER: THE AMERICAN SCOTT, rated SATANSTOE Cooper's "most mature and finished, novel" And perhaps even his best! Cooper uses a courtship story to frame a broader study of the American colonial mind's freeing itself from English overlordship. He also shows interactions between the old Dutch of New York, the conquering English and the threatening French and Indians. He also shows the challenges of carving frontier settlements out of the virgin wilderness. SATANSTOE, by the way, is the name of the southern New York farming estate of the Littlepages, a respected English-Dutch family.<BR/><BR/>Cooper produces other memorable characters. In addition to the four young lovers mentioned above, there is a priggish but acquisitive schoolteacher from Puritan Connecticut, various Indians and black slaves, cameo appearances of Lord Howe and the Patroon of Albany, also an English Major, oldest son of a baronet who falls in love with Anneke Mordaunt, despite social differences.<BR/><BR/>Another character is England-born Reverend Mister Thomas Worden, rector of the Littlepages' parish church. We first see him as young Corny's tutor in Latin and Greek. A good scholar, Worden "was very popular among the gentry of the country; attending all the dinners, clubs, races, balls, and other diversions that were given by them, within ten miles of his residence. His sermons were pithy and short" (Ch. Two) He also coached Corny in boxing. This came in handy in 1751 when 14 year old Corny first protected 11 year old Anneke.<BR/><BR/>Reverend Mister Worden is often present in these pages. He becomes a figure of fun when he moves up to Albany preparatory to a surveying expedition to a recent family grant north east of that old Dutch city. He is so afraid of riding on the frozen Hudson river that he runs away from a friendly young Duerck Ten Eyck when offered a sleigh ride. Rev. Worden briefly enters the wilderness to convert the Indians. After experiencing their murderous savagery, he abandons his mission arguing that Christianity is essentially a civilized religion of no use to uncivilized Indians.<BR/><BR/>For literary mastery and early American history, read SATANSTOE!

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