James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851)
Cooper 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.
James Fenimore Cooper was a prolific and popular author, and his historical romances of frontier and Indian life in the early American days created a unique form of American literature.
Cooper resources on EIL
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 (This is funny; don’t miss it!)
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?