The Deerslayer: A Tale [NOOK Book]

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 ...
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The Deerslayer: A Tale

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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.

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

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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940024196342
  • Publisher: E. P. Dutton & co
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Digitized from 1906 volume
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

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

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 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 3.5
( 62 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 71 Customer Reviews
  • 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 May 17, 2012

    type errors

    to many type errors

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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 10, 2013

    Prickleclaw

    "Goodbye." He sadly turns and pads out

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

    Posted November 10, 2013

    Magicpaw

    Bye Prickleclaw.

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

    Posted November 9, 2013

    Fatalgrin's Bio (Added)

    History:Born in a small clan, were her mother clearly did not want kits. For she was a cat trying to become deputy her kits only got in the way. But in order to prove herself she faught and learned how to be strong. Her final test to become a warrior was to kill her father, in doing so she earned the right to be deputy. In the night she killed her leader becomeing leader herself. She tried to kill one of her brothers neices and in doig so he ran away with a few of her warriors. Her clan shortly died out soon after. She traveled from clan to clan, meeting a tom here and there she would have a kit. Comeing to Avionclan, were she met Avionstar, she was medicne cat so haveing any feelings for a tom was unthinkable. Yet despite that she fell in love with him. But she had three kits so she resigned as medicne cat. Disappearing for long peirod of times was normal for her, returning to Avionclan to find it gone. She has traveled alone untill comeing her to live for now.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2013

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2013

    Darkstorm's Bio

    Name: Darkstorm<br>
    Gender: Tom<br>
    Rank: Elite Warrior<br>
    Appearance: Dark jet black from head to toe with starling blue eyes.<br>
    Personality: He is noble, wise, and loyal. He is willing to protect the clan and the warrior code with his life. He is skilled in combat and uses all five senses to ensure victory. He seeks no high position, just to serve the clan.<br>
    Kin: Cujo/Brother, Alive/Rogue/Visits Thornclan.<br>
    Mother/Unknown and dead<br>
    Father/Unknown and dead<br>
    Mate: Looking<br>
    Kits: None but wants <br>
    Apprintice: Marshpaw<br>
    Signature: D/\|2Kstorm<br>
    Themesong: Click, Click, Boom by Saliva

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

    Posted November 8, 2013

    Duskmoon bio

    Im a tom. I will tell you Im 10 moons. My pelt color is dusty brown, pale orange spots on back, and blue eyes. I am a risky,adventurous tom who will risk his life for his clan. I would be a loving and caring mate and help my mate through every pawstep. Ive never had a mate and my crush is Skyflower. My adopted kids are Wishstar and Redgrowth. Also my theme song is Let her go by Passanger. And my history is to sad. May I be deputy?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2013

    Bio

    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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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2013

    Viperstar's Bio

    Name: Viperstar<p>

    Former Name: Viperfang<p>

    Gender: Tom<p>

    Rank: Leader<p>

    Appearance: He is a large, lean muscular tom with yellow eyes, like that of a snake. He has a jet black pelt with sandy tigerstripe patterns that goes from head to tail. The pattern goes down his muzzle and over his eyes. He has unusually long fangs and good sized claws. His nose is black along with the tips of his ears. <p>

    Personality: He is noble and willing to protect his clan at all costs. He makes decisions to fit the clans needs and make sure everyone is satisfied. He is kind, patient, and will listen to anyones suggestions or problems that they need handled. In battle, he is a very skilled fighter. He trained alongside his brother and has all of the skills he does. He is very observant and notices the slightest noises, scents, or movements. He never backs down from a challenge and he carries out all of his duties as a leader.<p>

    History: Ask him! He likes to tell a good story...<p>

    Kin: Father/Unknown, Mother/Unknown, Brother/Moltenclaw (Alive/ Ashclan), Other/Unknown.<p>

    Mate/Kits: None. Looking.<p>

    Signature: \/iper&starf <p>

    Themesong: Warrior's Call by Volbeat

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2008

    'And white shall I live and die!'

    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

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2011

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    Posted August 20, 2011

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    Posted June 10, 2010

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    Posted March 16, 2012

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    Posted October 25, 2011

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    Posted March 6, 2011

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    Posted January 21, 2012

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    Posted April 19, 2011

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