The Deerslayer: A Tale

The Deerslayer: A Tale

3.6 67
by James Fenimore Cooper
     
 

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The deadly crack of a long rifle and the piercing cries of Indians on the warpath shatter the serenity of beautiful lake Glimmerglass. Danger has invaded the vast forests of upper New York State as Deerslayer and his loyal Mohican friend Chingachgook attempt the daring rescue of an Indian maiden imprisoned in a Huron camp. Soon they are caught in the crossfire

Overview

The deadly crack of a long rifle and the piercing cries of Indians on the warpath shatter the serenity of beautiful lake Glimmerglass. Danger has invaded the vast forests of upper New York State as Deerslayer and his loyal Mohican friend Chingachgook attempt the daring rescue of an Indian maiden imprisoned in a Huron camp. Soon they are caught in the crossfire between a cunning enemy and two white bounty hunters who mercilessly kill for profit. The last of the Leatherstocking tales to be written, though first in the chronology of the hero's life, The Deerslayer is James Fenimore Cooper's masterpiece. A fine combination of romance, adventure, and morality; this classic novel of the frontier is an eloquent beginning for Cooper's great wilderness saga--and an unforgettable introduction to the famous character who has said to embody the conscience of America: the noble woodsman Deerslayer.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940024196342
Publisher:
E. P. Dutton & co
Publication date:
08/27/2016
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
1 MB

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.

Meet the Author

Leslie A. Fiedler is Distinguished Professor and holds the Samuel L. Clemens Chair in English at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

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 Deerslayer (Illustrated + link to download FREE audiobook + Active TOC) 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 67 reviews.
rea1der More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
to many type errors
Guest More than 1 year ago
Many who have not yet read Fenimore Cooper's 1841 novel THE DEERSLAYER, or THE FIRST WAR-PATH, have nonetheless heard of Mark Twain's satire of it. Variously styled 'Cooper's Indians' or more accurately, 'Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses,' Twain's essay, by any admission both inaccurate and unfair, nonetheless, has a grain of truth. Some of Cooper's Indians do seem a mite too stupid or at least clumsy and some of his white people speak like bad translations from Homeric Greek. *** Happily, the Barnes and Noble Classics edition of DEERSLAYER contains Twain's humorous treatment of DEERSLAYER as an appendix, and Mark Twain is very funny, accurate or not. So make up your own mind after you read the original! *** The action takes place in 1744, at the onset of King George's war between Britain and France. And it will not be long before Britain will be distracted by France's support of the rising for Bonnie Prince Charlie in Scotland. *** The location of THE DEERSLAYER is Lake Otsego, one of 11 Finger Lakes in Central New York. Indians call it 'Glimmerglass.' Muskrat Castle is a fortified hut on stilts in the lake. It was built by Floating Tom Hutter, a trapper. He also has a smaller lake craft, the ark, resembling a diminutive canal barge. Iroquois make an attack on this barge while it carries Tom, his two daughters, Judith and Hetty, along with 'Natty' Bumppo, aka Deerslayer and his Indian friend Chingachgook. Mark Twain makes much of Indian ineptness in their failure to seize a slow moving boat being winched out of a river into the lake. At novel's beginning Deerslayer had been traveling with Henry Marsh, 'Hurry Harry' who is courting Judith. Natty was to meet up with Chingachgook on the lake to help him recover his captured wife from Hurons. *** Adventures with Iroquois and Huron Indians -- indiscriminately styled Mingos by Deerslayer -- make up much of the rest of the tale. Somewhat older Judith falls heavily in love with 20 year old Natty Bumppo, but he is not then or later much of the marrying kind. The novel's appeal is in its description of interactions and misunderstandings between white men and red men. Trading is a big feature of frontier life and lives are saved when the Mingos become fascinated by elaborate chess pieces offered by Judith in trade for the lives of her father and Hurry Harry. *** Throughout the five Leatherstocking Tales Natty Bumppo, illiterate but with a probing mind, tries to understand what makes white and red men different. He articulates his theory that every creature has its own 'gifts.' If redskins have a gift for taking scalps of slain enemies, well, white men simply do not. Accept the diversity of God's gifts and get on with life. *** Here are three samples of Natty's wisdom: --'God made us all, white, black, and red and, no doubt, had his own wise intentions in coloring us differently. Still, he made us, in the main, much the same in feelin's though I'll not deny that he gave each race its gifts. A white man's gifts are Christianized, while a redskin's are more for the wilderness.' 'Ch. III' --'I've fou't, Judith yes, I have fou't the inimy, and that, too, for the first time in my life. These things must be, and they bring with 'em a mixed feelin' of sorrow and triumph. Human natur' is a fightin' natur', I suppose, as all nations kill in battle, and we must be true to our rights and gifts.' 'Ch. VIII' ----'Telling of his first kill to his admiring Indian friend': ' ... I fou't like a man with gifts of my own color. God gave me the victory. ... White he made me and white I shall live and die.' 'Ch. IX' *** The skirmishes on Lake Glimmerglass are part of the first war-path of two young friends, raised together among Delaware Indians, who hate Mingos. Natty kills his first human, a Mingo warri
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Goodbye." He sadly turns and pads out
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My name is Crimsonpaw. I am a female and i have white fur with red paws, a red muzzle, and the tip of my tail is red. I have green eyes. I love challenges and have a bad habit of rushing into things headfirst. I am not afraid to get hurt if means protecting a clanmate.
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Librarybuyer More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book for a public library and it was terrible. The pages were copies of the original text. Plus, it was huge. I would only recommend the purchase of this book if you needed it for a class. the margins are about two inches wide!
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