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Last of the Mohicans

Last of the Mohicans (Hardcover) by James Fenimore Cooper (Author)

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The Last of the Mohicans is what the great American wild is all about -- the sure-shot frontiersman and the crafty Indian ("a mortal to be felt afore he is seen"); the damsel in the dangerous woods, and the explosive smell of black gunpowder. James Fenimore Cooper's 1826 novel has been the source of numerous movies, TV shows, and even comic books. Most recent is Daniel Day-Lewis' portrayal of Cooper's man of many names: Hawkeye, Pathfinder, and Leatherstocking. But the novel itself is where to go on the track of that most elusive quarry, the mythic wilderness, where the moccasin leaves no track. Set against the French and Indian War that was a living memory in Cooper's time, the story depends on Hawkeye and his Mohican friend, Chingachgook, to save a British commander's kidnapped daughters. Along the way, Cooper's "singular men" mark the trail that other heroes have followed through the primitive forest ever since. Careful! -- quiet! -- and watch where you step.


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Meanwhile, here's a short review from the "Notice of New Books" section of the November 1850 issue of The United States Democratic Review.

THE LEATHER STOCKING TALES; by J. Fennimore Cooper Authors Revised Edition.

THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS: A Narrative of 1757. Complete in one volume, re-vised and corrected; with a new Introduction, Notes, &c., by the author. George

P. Putnam, 155 Broadway.

This, probably the best, as it certainly was the most successful of the Leather Stocking Tales, has, perhaps, done more than any other of the author's great romances to extend his fame over Christendom. Its pure originality took the reader by surprise, and its rare merits fixed the admiration which the novelty of the theatre of its action inspired.  It has been naturalized in most of the languages of Europe, and although of course with some detriment to its text, is equally popular in all; although a quarter of a century has nearly elapsed since we first read it, a re-perusal revives the vivid impressions it made upon our boyish fancy. Since the advent of Mr. Cooper, no sneering "Scotch Reviewer" has ventured to ask, "who reads an American book?" The response of Christendom, if the question of the reviewer could be as extensively circulated as these American books, might give an unwelcome reply. The standard edition of these novels by Mr. Putnam, uniform with the works of Irving, is indispensable to every American library, and the number of them increases annually by thousands.

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