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Library of America James Fenimore Cooper Edition

James Fenimore Cooper
James Fenimore Cooper: The Leatherstocking Tales Vol. 2 (LOA #27) by James Fenimore Cooper
James Fenimore Cooper: Sea Tales (LOA #54) by James Fenimore Cooper
James Fenimore Cooper: Two Novels of the American Revolution (LOA #312) by James Fenimore Cooper

Library of America James Fenimore Cooper Edition : Titles in Order

Book 4
The American Revolution comes to vivid life in two dramatic tales of espionage, intrigue, and romance from the author of The Last of Mohicans.

With his second novel, The Spy:A Tale of the Neutral Ground, in 1821, James Cooper (the Fenimore would come later) found his true voice and what became his most enduring subject matter: the history of his young nation, born of the clash between Old World and New. Set largely in Westchester County–site of the real-life intrigues of Benedict Arnold and Major John Andre–The Spy traces the conflicting allegiances of rebels and loyalists, with the supposed loyalist spy Harvey Birch (actually in the service of George Washington) finding himself caught up in conflicts between friendship and duty as he moves between the two sides. Washington himself makes an incognito appearance as the mysterious “Mr. Harper.” Cooper continued in the same vein with Lionel Lincoln; Or, The Leaguer of Boston (1825), a carefully researched panorama of the coming of the Revolution, complete with detailed depictions of the battles of Lexington and Concord and Bunker Hill. With the hero a native-born American serving in the British Army, issues of loyalty are again complex, and some American reviewers, not for the last time, found Cooper’s politics a bit too ambiguous for comfort.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 3
In The Pilot (1824) and The Red Rover (1828), James Fenimore Cooper invented a new literary genre: the sea novel. Collected here in a single Library of America volume, they are among his finest works. Bold, vigorous, original, each is a tale of high adventure that vividly captures the majesty and power of the seafaring life. 

Cooper drew on his direct knowledge of ships and sailors to present a truer picture of life on the sea than had ever before achieved in literature. As a boy of seventeen he had sailed before the mast on a merchantman bound from New York to London and then to Spain. On board he experienced the life of a common seaman, learned the craft of sailing, encountered terrifying storms, was chased by pirates, and watched the impressment of crew members by a British man-of-war. He later served as an officer in the United States Navy.

The Pilot is loosely based upon stories of John Paul Jones’s daring hit-and-run tactics during the Revolutionary War. The shadowy hero, modeled on Jones, leads a squadron of the infant American navy in a series of raids on the English coast, braving fierce storms and the guns of hostile warships, yet never revealing his identity. In this novel Cooper introduced the character of the “old salt,” the seasoned deckhand happy only aboard ship. Long Tom Coffin, with his briny conversation and shrewd nautical advice, is the first of Cooper’s memorable portraits of common seaman.

A ghostly ship, an uncanny hero, a heroine kidnapped by pirates, revelations of mistaken identity, and the reunion of long-lost relatives—scenes of romance and adventure fill the pages of The Red Rover, Cooper’s most theatrical novel. Set in the mid-eighteenth century, the tale recounts the exploits of a noble outcast and visionary who foresees America’s destiny as a sovereign nation. Forced into a life of piracy, the Rover conducts his private war of independence in a story that equates the free and daring life with the American dream of self-reliance and liberty from British rule.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 2
When Cooper’s most memorable hero, Leatherstocking, started an American tradition by setting off into the sunset in The Pioneers, one early reader said of his departure, “I longed to go with him.” 

American readers couldn’t get enough of the Leatherstocking saga (collected in two Library of America volumes) and, fourteen years after he portrayed the death of Natty Bumppo in The Prairie, Cooper brought him back in The Pathfinder, or The Inland Sea (1841). During the Seven Years War, just after the events narrated in The Last of the Mohicans, Natty brings the daughter of a British sergeant to her father’s station on the Great Lakes, where the French and their Indian allies are plotting a treacherous ambush. Here, for the first time, he falls in love with a woman, before Cooper manages bring off Leatherstocking’s most poignant, and perhaps his most revealing, escape.

The Deerslayer (1842) brings the saga full circle and follows the young Natty on his first warpath. Instinctively gifted in the arts of the forest, pious in his respect for the unspoiled wilderness on which he loves to gaze, honorable to friend and foe alike, stoic under torture, and cool under fire, the young Leatherstocking emerges as Cooper’s noblest figure of the American frontier. Enacting a rite of passage both for its hero and for the culture he comes to represent, this last book in the series glows with a timelessness that readers everywhere will find enchanting.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 1
The five novels in The Leatherstocking Tales (collected in two Library of America volumes), Cooper’s great saga of the American wilderness, form a pageant of the American frontier. Cooper’s hero, Natty Bumppo, is forced ever farther into the heart of the continent by the advance of civilization that he inadvertently serves as advance scout, missionary, and critic. 

Leatherstocking first appears in The Pioneers (1823), as an aged hunter living on the fringe of settlement near Templeton (Cooperstown), New York, at the end of the eighteenth century. There he becomes caught in the struggles of party, family, and class to control the changing American land and to determine what sort of civilization will replace the rapidly vanishing wilderness. When Natty Bumppo started an American tradition by setting off into the sunset at the novel’s close, one early reader said, “I longed to go with him.”

The Last of the Mohicans (1826) is a pure unabashed narrative of adventure. It looks back to the earlier time of the French and Indian Wars, when Natty and his two companions, Chingachgook and Uncas, survivors of a once-proud Indian nation, attempt a daring rescue and seek to forestall the plan of the French to unleash their Mingo allies on a wave of terror through the English settlements.

The Prairie (1827) takes up Natty in his eighties, driven by the continuous march of civilization to his last refuge on the Great Plains across the Mississippi. On this vast and barren stage, the Sioux and Pawnee, the outlaw clan of Ishmael Bush, and members of the Lewis and Clark expedition enact a romantic drama of intrigue, pursuit, and biblical justice that reflects Cooper’s historical dialectic of culture and nature, of the American nation and the American continent.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

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