The Deerslayer

The Deerslayer

by James Fenimore Cooper


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The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper

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: 9783734025228
Publisher: Outlook Verlag
Publication date: 09/23/2018
Pages: 482
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x 1.07(d)

About the Author

James Fenimore Cooper (September 15, 1789 - September 14, 1851) was a prolific and popular American writer of the early 19th century. His historical romances of frontier and Indian life in the early American days created a unique form of American literature. He lived most of his life in Cooperstown, New York, which was founded by his father William on property that he owned. Cooper was a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church and, in his later years, contributed generously to it. He attended Yale University for three years, where he was a member of the Linonian Society, but was expelled for misbehavior.

Date of Birth:

September 15, 1789

Date of Death:

September 14, 1851

Place of Birth:

Burlington, New Jersey

Place of Death:

Cooperstown, New York


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.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Copyright 2002 by James Fenimore Cooper

Table of Contents

A Note on the Textvi
Further Readingxxvi
Preface to the First Edition (1841)1
Preface to the Leather-Stocking Tales (1850)5
Preface to Deerslayer (1850)11
The Deerslayer13

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Praise for James Fenimore Cooper:

“His memory will exist in the hearts of the people... [and his works] should find a place in every American’s library.”—Daniel Webster

“Cooper emphatically belongs to the nation. He has left a space in our literature which will not easily be supplied.”—Washington Irving

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?

Customer Reviews

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The Deerslayer 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely captivating
Guest More than 1 year ago
A little slow getting past the first 150 pages, but the story starts to pick up from that point until about page 400. Then it is nonstop, can't-put-the-book-down excitement!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just finished reading it, and I loved it! i will say that it can be hard to understand at some times. I usually will day dream while I'm reading, but this book kept hold of me. I wouldn't recommend it for someone around 13 and under. I think it was great!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. In truth, it is long and can at times be monotonous and repetitive. However, this book is a good look at the virgin forest and the stout inhabitants that dwelt in its heart. There are some very good highlights, mainly towards the end, but there are sure some lulls and places where Deerslayer is too perfect and too talkative. Still, I was thoroughly satisfied with the book and the author, even though a joke or two about his style will surely pop into your head. I wish I could give Deerslayer five stars, but it isn't really as outstanding as other 5 star books. Overall, a good relaxing read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Few stereotypes but those that are no longer remembered. A world when upstate New York was wilderness and the lone rifleman and his Mohegan brother trod the warpath together. An American gem and beginning of all the 'Westerns' to come.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent read best read in longer time than I did in one week. Very or almost too descriptive at times it still holds true the human nature so diverse in Gods created beings in His Own Likeness.
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