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James Fenimore Cooper
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James Fenimore Cooper: The Early Years

Wayne Franklin


James Fenimore Cooper (1789–1851) invented the key forms of American fiction—the Western, the sea tale, and the Revolutionary War romance. Furthermore, Cooper turned novel writing from a polite diversion into a paying career. He influenced Herman Melville, Richard Henry Dana, Jr., Francis Parkman, and even Mark Twain, who felt the need to flagellate Cooper for his “literary offenses.” His novels mark the starting point for any history of our environmental conscience. Far from complicit in the cleansings of Native Americans that characterized the era, Cooper's fictions traced native losses to t ... More

Keywords: James Fenimore Cooper, American fiction, Western, sea tale, Revolutionary War romance, environmental conscience, Native Americans, family papers

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780300108057
Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300108057.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Wayne Franklin, author