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The Pathfinder: or the Inland Sea
     

The Pathfinder: or the Inland Sea

2.4 5
by James Fenimore Cooper, Richard D. Rust (Introduction)
 

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With the publication of The Pathfinder in 1840, James Fenimore Cooper engaged in what he called the “hazardous experiment” of reviving one of his most popular characters who had been allowed to die in a previous novel.

Natty Bumppo—who had appeared as Leatherstocking in The Pioneers, as Hawkeye in The Last of the Mohicans, and who had died as the

Overview

With the publication of The Pathfinder in 1840, James Fenimore Cooper engaged in what he called the “hazardous experiment” of reviving one of his most popular characters who had been allowed to die in a previous novel.

Natty Bumppo—who had appeared as Leatherstocking in The Pioneers, as Hawkeye in The Last of the Mohicans, and who had died as the Trapper in The Prairie—appears again as the hero of The Pathfinder. Encouraged by his British publisher to write another tale of the American frontier, Cooper revived his character to take him to the shores of Lake Ontario, the Inland Sea, for an adventurous story of sailors, Indians, and hunters. Inspired by his own experiences as a mid-shipman on Lake Ontario in 1808-09, Cooper writes in his most picturesque fashion of the wilderness of the Great Lakes, the Thousand Islands, and Niagara.

“Never did the art of writing tread more closely upon the art of the painter,” wrote Honoré de Balzac in his review of The Pathfinder. Cooper writes of places that were wilderness in his youth and that changed rapidly in his own lifetime as cities and commerce developed around the Great Lakes. Cooper’s attitude toward this development was ambivalent, as he indicated in his Preface: “That great results are intended to be produced by means of these wonderful changes, we firmly believe...but that they will prove to be of the precise results now so generally anticipated, in consulting the experience of the past, and taking the nature of man into account, the reflecting and intelligent may be permitted to doubt.”

The Pathfinder remains a classic and entertaining account of the American wilderness and of aspects of human experience in the New World.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780873953603
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
06/28/1980
Series:
Writings of James Fenimore Cooper Series
Pages:
569

Meet the Author

The creator of two genres that became staples of American literature — the sea romance and the frontier adventure — James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) was born in New Jersey, raised in the wilderness of New York, and spent five years at sea before embarking on his successful writing career. Among Cooper’s many novels, his best-known books are the five "Leatherstocking" tales — including The Deerslayer and The Last of the Mohicans — each featuring the fictional hero Natty Bumppo.

Brief Biography

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 Pathfinder: Or the Inland Sea 2.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A classic novel featuring one of my favorite characters Natty Bumppo. Loved it!
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