The Wing-and-Wing or Le Feu-Follet

The Wing-and-Wing or Le Feu-Follet

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by James Fenimore Cooper
     
 

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A classic story of love and sea warfare from one of America's greatest novelists.

The year is 1799. Admiral Caraccioli is about to be executed on Lord Nelson's flagship. Young and in love with Carracioli's daughter, the spirited French privateer Raoul Yvard and his wily American sailing master Ithuel Bolt harass the British fleet. Yvard is captured but

Overview

A classic story of love and sea warfare from one of America's greatest novelists.

The year is 1799. Admiral Caraccioli is about to be executed on Lord Nelson's flagship. Young and in love with Carracioli's daughter, the spirited French privateer Raoul Yvard and his wily American sailing master Ithuel Bolt harass the British fleet. Yvard is captured but cunningly escapes, setting up a showdown at sea.

Originally published in 1846, The Wing-and-Wing is a captivating novel of seafaring adventure, romance, and Napoleonic history, from the masterful author of The Leatherstocking Tales.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805055689
Publisher:
Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
10/22/1998
Series:
Heart of Oak Sea Classics Series
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
470
Product dimensions:
5.46(w) x 8.22(h) x 1.14(d)

Meet the Author

At seventeen, James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) ran away from his home in Cooperstown, New York, to become a merchant seaman. He was a midshipman in the United States navy.

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The Wing-And-Wing, Or Le Feu-Follet; 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Ausonius More than 1 year ago
In his Introduction to Fenimore Cooper's THE WING-AND-WING, editor Thomas Philbrick says that Cooper once contemplated personifying sailing vessels and making them "the characters and all the action derived from their evolutions". He adds that the little 180 ton French privateer, le Feu Follet ("jack o'lantern") becomes so captivating as to seem alive and intelligent. Other commentators on Cooper's ten sea adventure tales note that it is an evil, certainly a rare, sailing ship whose crew do not love it like a woman. This sense of personification is behind Sancho Panza's comment to Don Quixote: "We class a vessel among animals." Indeed, ships are not mere animals but people, too! *** The externals of a book are not the book. But how they can add or detract! For externals I cannot commend too highly the 1998 Henry Holt/Owl Books edition of THE WING-AND-WING. *** -- The color "portrait" by renowned sailing ship depictor Geoff Hunt could be the very Feu Follet sailing "wing-and-wing" (i. e., sails spread beyond both sides of the ship) with the island of Elba in the background. -- Who among today's readers is a master of the rigging and paraphernalia of sailing vessels of August and September 1799? A sailor himself, Cooper liberally sprinkles his text with nautical terms like "bearings." Fortunately, a note among scores by editor Philbrick informs that this is "the widest part of the underbody of the hull." -- We also have two pages of maps (with insets) by cartographer Jeffrey Ward of the Tyrrhenian Sea west of Italy. Every place described in the novel is clearly depicted, including the Island of the Sirens in the Gulf of Salerno, scene of the novel's memorable final battle by land and by sea. This is the edition you want to read. *** The WING-AND-WING is not a bare bones novel. *** -- It has a tragic romance of 26-year old atheistic French privateer Raoul Yvard and pious Italian 19-year old beauty Ghita Carracioli. Ghita loves Raoul passionately but not enough to marry him, fearing he would tempt her away from love of God. -- The novel also has two high comic Italian characters, the Vice-Governor of Elba and his podesta (chief magistrate). It is during a debate the two hold aboard a British warship that captured Raoul makes his daring escape with his first mate, wily England-hating Ithuel Bolt. The two Italians were discussing Bishop Berkeley and arguing whether the world is or is not delusion -- a theme given great meaning at novel's end in reflections on the fate of a dying sailor. -- THE WING-AND-WING is a novel of injustice: British Admiral Nelson's vengeful hanging from the yardarm of a ship of an historial Italian prince who, it turns out, is fictional Ghita's grandfather. And Granite Stater Ithuel Bolt is one of thousands of American seamen illegally seized at sea and "impressed," i. e., made to serve on British warships, theoretically until they can prove their non-British citizenship. The resultant hate of Ithuel Bolt costs many a British life in the novel. -- Vintage elements of Cooper's LEATHERSTOCKING TALES and Sea Tales are in this novel: pursuit, ambush, capture, escape, conflict by land or by sea. And this is a tale of the age of Bonaparte, when one man from Corsica held Europe in suspense about its fate. *** On all these levels, THE WING-AND-WING is one of the finest books I have read in the past five
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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