The Wept of Wish-Ton-Wish [NOOK Book]


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The Wept of Wish-Ton-Wish

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Trajectory presents classics of world literature with 21st century features! Our original-text editions include the following visual enhancements to foster a deeper understanding of the work: Word Clouds at the start of each chapter highlight important words. Word, sentence, paragraph counts, and reading time help readers and teachers determine chapter complexity. Co-occurrence graphs depict character-to-character interactions as well character to place interactions. Sentiment indexes identify positive and negative trends in mood within each chapter. Frequency graphs help display the impact this book has had on popular culture since its original date of publication. Use Trajectory analytics to deepen comprehension, to provide a focus for discussions and writing assignments, and to engage new readers with some of the greatest stories ever told.

"The Wept of Wish-Ton-Wish" by James Fenimore Cooper takes place in the 17th century and is a classic, historical novel about the American wilderness experience. The novel centers around Captian Mark Heathcote, who leaves the Massachusetts Bay Colony to colonize in Wish-Ton-Wish, which is now known as Connecticut.

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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940023256771
  • Publisher: New York : Putnam
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Digitized from 1896 volume
  • File size: 810 KB

Meet the Author

James Fenimore Cooper
James Fenimore Cooper
James Fenimore Cooper is considered by many to be America's first great novelist. His most popular work, The Last of the Mohicans, has remained one of the most widely read novels throughout the world, greatly influencing the way many cultures have viewed both the American Indians and the frontier period of U.S. history.


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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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 22, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Romeo and Juliet restaged as Conanchet and Ruth: the tragedy of an Indian Chief and a Puritan Girl in 1670s Connecticut

    If you liked THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS, you will love James Fenimore Cooper's 1829 novel, THE WEPT OF WISH-TON-WISH. But first, let's push beyond that obscure title! "The Wept" is the "wept for" daughter of a 1676 Puritan family on the wild frontier of Connecticut. Her name is Ruth Heathcote. When seven years old, she was taken by Narragansett Indians during a raid on her home. Years later her Indian husband, the great young chief Conanchet, gives her -- long since renamed Narra-mattah -- and their baby son to her grieving parents. Fenimore Cooper wrote this moving cross-cultural love story in Switzerland. Consulting an inaccurate glossary of Indian terminology, he took "Wish-Ton-Wish" to mean the Whip-Poor-Will or American night hawk. Wish-Ton-Wish was the name given by a small band of Puritans to their settlement in a beautiful but isolated valley in the Royal Colony of Connecticut. *** <BR/><BR/>The way for Fenimore Cooper's historical novels of America had been prepared by three immigrant English literary genres: Indian captivity narratives, field reports of Indian wars and moralizing sermons by divines like Increase Mather and his son Cotton. All these elements appear powerfully in THE WEPT OF WISH-TON-WISH. What happened to young Ruth Heathcote also happened to hundreds of other young English girls and women. In Ruth's case, she weds a young chief who had first been a captive in her home around 1662. There he had been taught English and elements of Puritan Christianity by an old Roundhead soldier named Submission. The old soldier of Oliver Cromwell was hiding out from the wrath of the restored King Charles II, for Submission had been among the victorious judges condemning King Charles I to execution. *** <BR/><BR/>Cooper recreates the Puritan mindset, recorded in many sermons, that the North American wilderness is the home of Satan who will do anything, including firing up his heathen Indian subjects, to oppose and repel the English Saints now moving into New England. Marriage between white and Indian is unthinkable. But Ruth Heathcote's family nonetheless accepts their half-breed grandson as God's inscrutable will. *** <BR/><BR/>Finally, this powerful novel is also a combat mini-epic, including a fragment of King Philip's War which spilled over into Connecticut in 1675-76. The little community of Wish-Ton-Wish endures two terrible attacks, a decade apart, by vengeful Indians. The battle scenes are as vivid as anything in Cooper's other frontier tales, such as THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS, THE DEERSLAYER and THE PRAIRIE. *** <BR/><BR/>This novel has a memorable supporting cast: a saucy young woman who "torments" her Puritan lover into marrying her and providing her with triplets, glimpses of the great Oliver Cromwell as a young carouser, a Puritan preacher saturated with the implacable word of God, Indians and whites determined to exterminate one another. But at its core this is Romeo and Juliet retold as Conanchet and Ruth. These two star-crossed lovers face powers far too strong to allow them to be happy together for very long: opposed dreams, memories, religions, world-views, cultures, societies, races. It is too much for them. THE WEPT OF WISH-TON-WISH is tragedy of a high order and ends along lines of tormented mental giving way under stress reminiscent of Sir Walter Scott's THE BRIDE OF LAMMERMOOR or the spiritual collapse of the Templar Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert in his duel with IVANHOE.

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    Posted May 30, 2012

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    Posted June 10, 2010

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