James Fenimore Cooper


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The Later Years

Wayne Franklin

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A definitive new biography of James Fenimore Cooper, early nineteenth-century master of American popular fiction

"It will be the definitive biography and foremost study of Cooper’s fiction and nonfiction for the foreseeable future.”— Allan Axelrad, California State University, Fullerton

American author James Fenimore Cooper (1789–1851) has been credited with inventing and popularizing a wide variety of genre fiction, including the Western, the spy novel, the high seas adventure tale, and the Revolutionary War romance. America’s first crusading novelist, Cooper reminds us that literature is not a cloistered art; rather, it ought to be intimately engaged with the world.
In this second volume of his definitive biography, Wayne Franklin concentrates on the latter half of Cooper’s life, detailing a period of personal and political controversy, far-ranging international travel, and prolific literary creation. We hear of Cooper’s progressive views on race and slavery, his doubts about American expansionism, and his concern about the future prospects of the American Republic, while observing how his groundbreaking career management paved the way for later novelists to make a living through their writing. Franklin offers readers the most comprehensive portrait to date of this underappreciated American literary icon.

Wayne Franklin is professor of English at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. His biography James Fenimore Cooper: The Early Years was selected as an Outstanding Academic Title in 2008 by the AAUP and Choice magazine. He lives in Hebron, CT.

Praise for James Fenimore Cooper: The Early Years:
"Franklin creatively and convincingly weaves episodes from Cooper's fiction into the story of his life, demonstrating, in many instances, where the novelist's inspiration came from. This is a richly detailed treatment, encompassing political as well as literary affairs, and a short review cannot do it justice. Anyone interested in examining James Fenimore Cooper's republican credentials will find this book an immensely satisfying read."—Andrew Burstein, The Journal of American History

Praise for James Fenimore Cooper: The Early Years:
“[A] leisurely and deeply researched canvassing of the first half of Cooper's life…”—Christopher Benfey, The New Republic

“Franklin’s book is in a class by itself. It will be the definitive biography and foremost study of Cooper’s fiction and nonfiction for the foreseeable future.”— Allan Axelrad, California State University, Fullerton

“Cooper’s life and work are in need of a major reappraisal. Wayne Franklin’s biography will undoubtedly be the essential study of Cooper’s life.”— Sandra Gustafson, University of Notre Dame

“The accomplishment of a scholarly lifetime, Wayne Franklin’s splendid biography of James Fenimore Cooper at long last does full justice to the life and career of the nation’s first major novelist, whose international influence endures to this day.”—Lawrence Buell, Harvard University

"For a writer of Cooper’s undeniable status in our letters, it’s remarkable that he hasn’t until now had a full-scale biography. This beautifully written book is a great scholarly achievement.  Cooper has finally gotten his definitive biography.”— H. Daniel Peck, Vassar College

“This is a masterful biography that well deserves to be called definitive. It is unimaginable that any life of Cooper will surpass this fascinating book.”—Kirkus (starred review)

A remarkable scholarly achievement, this is the most thorough, balanced, complete Cooper biography available.”—Choice

Won the 2017 Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Title
ISBN: 9780300135718
Publication Date: April 25, 2017
840 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
8 b/w illus.
James Fenimore Cooper

The Early Years

Wayne Franklin

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