The Bravo

The Bravo

by James Fenimore Cooper
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Overview

The Bravo by James Fenimore Cooper

The Bravo

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781374891470
Publisher: Pinnacle Press
Publication date: 05/30/2017
Pages: 430
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.87(d)

About the Author

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.

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 Bravo 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Ausonius More than 1 year ago
Writing his 1831 novel THE BRAVO midway through a lengthy sojourn in Europe, James Fenimore Cooper took mid-15th Century Venice as precisely the kind of government that the new USA was not. "Venice, though ambitious and tenacious of the name of a republic, was, in truth, a narrow, a vulgar, and an exceedingly heartless oligarchy" (Ch. XI). Its leader, the Doge, was a puppet trotted out for ceremonial occasions such as the wedding of Venice with the Adriatic, lavishly described in THE BRAVO. The Doge was "the titular sovereign of that still more titular Republic" (Ch. X). Cooper wanted his fellow Americans to think better of themselves. All too accustomed they were to accept European views of the New Worlders as ignorant, uncreative, uncivilized and generally inferior. Cooper saw the U. S. Constitution as something new in the world. In the USA men were citizens, not subjects. Government existed to assure justice and good to all citizens, not just the rich. How better show Americans their opposite in virtue, especially in equal justice for all, than by holding up a mirror to Venice in mid 15th Century, in early decline. It was already a tightly controlled police state. Profligate sons of the mighty are shown great indulgence and not likely to be severely punished. But simple fishermen can be imprisoned on false charges or sent to the galleys to protect the Republic, a service never required of sons of the powerful. A bravo is a paid assassin. In the novel young Jacopo Frontoni is known throughout Venice as a bravo. He is feared because, despite his reputation, the Senate, the Council of Thirty and the dread secret Council of Three never move against him until the very end. Much of Cooper's great work of historical fiction slowly explains how Jacopo was made to seem a bravo for the ruthless "good" of the Venetian state. Jacopo's short, unhappy life intersects with that of the daughter of the warden of the prison beyond the Bridge of Sighs where Jacopo's father lies dying. Their lives in turn intersect with those of a powerful Duke prevented by Venice from wedding a rich orphaned heiress. The heiress, Donna Violetta Tiepolo, has a Carmelite priest spiritual advisor who explains to her the evils of the Venetian State. He also hears the final confession of a spirited old fisherman Antonio Vecchio who asks no more of Venice than that it free his 14-year old grandson from duties on the Republic's war galleys. THE BRAVO introduced to Americans of the Trail of Tears years pre-Reformation Catholic Italy in all its individual heroism and corporate depravity. We see gondola races for rich prizes. We hear the serenades of gondoliers. We marvel at the ability of a dying state like Venice to assume first place in the consciences of most of its patricians. We suffer with poor fisherman and spied upon private gondoliers. Venice is Communist East Germany 500 years before the Berlin Wall. A grand tale! -OOO-