James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) is considered the first fully American novelist–someone who achieved literary success writing about American issues, characters, and settings. He was influenced in his writing by the adventure novels of Sir Walter Scott and succeeded in transferring the major characteristics of the eighteenth-century novel to the entirely different setting of the New World.
Learn more about Cooper by exploring these resources from Excellence in Literature:
My Brigantine by Cooper
The Lake Gun by Cooper
Cooper biography from the Cambridge History of American Literature, by Carl Van Doren
Berlioz’s overture Le corsaire rouge, inspired by Cooper’s book Red Rover
Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses by Mark Twain
Last, but not least, Cooper has the honor of being mocked (along with other great writers) in “A Fable for Critics” by James Russell Lowell.
When will you read Cooper’s writing in Excellence in Literature?