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Or, Old Tales, New Essays
Cloth ISBN-10: 0-404-64473-2
Cloth ISBN-13: 978-0-404-64473-4
Paper ISBN-10: 0-404-62643-2
Paper ISBN-13: 978-0-404-62643-3
AMS Studies in the Nineteenth Century, No. 43
“All the contributors to this volume aim to establish Cooper’s signal importance to 19th-century
American culture and letters, and several also explore themes with resonance for today’s readers: race, class, gender,
violence, law, and democratic values. . . . The overall quality of the essays is high . . . Written by a cohort of experienced, knowledgeable Cooper scholars,
these studies will be welcomed by readers interested in the central works of the US’s first successful professional novelist. Summing Up: Highly recommended.”
—K. P. Ljungquist, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Choice
The ten original essays in this collection, all by internationally known Cooper scholars, offer fresh and original insights into the five Leather-Stocking Tales: The Pioneers (1823), The Last of the Mohicans (1826), The Prairie (1827), The Pathfinder (1840), and The Deerslayer (1841). Treating the novels individually or commenting on the series as a whole, the contributors address such issues as race, gender, and ethnicity in Cooper’s world and their relationship to ours, as well as scholarly responses to the politics and economics of the early Republic and discussions of the nature of American frontier society in the first half of the nineteenth century.
More specifically, the essays treat race-mixing and the Africanist presence in the Leather-Stocking Tales; Cooper’s role as popular novelist; virtue ethics, literature, and life; Cooper’s portrait of the American man of leisure; the presence of the grotesque in his fiction; and the marketing context of Cooper’s “sixth” Leather-Stocking Tale.
Intended to be used as a companion to a study of Cooper and his Leather-Stocking novels, this collection of lively, informative, and readable essays will encourage serious contemporary discussion of America’s first successful—and at one time most popular—novelist.
Jeffrey Walker is the author of a critical study on the Revolutionary War poet and traitor Benjamin Church and co-editor of the first scholarly edition of James Fenimore Cooper’s 1821 novel The Spy. He is also the co-editor of a new annual, Literature in the Early American Republic, and is completing an edition of Cooper’s unpublished letters. A professor of English at Oklahoma State University, he has served as a Fulbright lecturer in Norway and Belgium.
Jeffrey Walker, “Leather-Stocking Redux: An Introduction Anew, and Anon”
William Decker, “The Africanist Presence in The Pioneers”
Allan M. Axelrad, “The Last of the Mohicans, Race Mixing, and America’s Destiny”
Barbara Alice Mann, “Sex and the Single Mixed Blood”
Robert Daly, “Mohicans, Virtue Ethics, Literature, and Life”
Signe O. Wegener, “Marmaduke Temple: James Fenimore Cooper’s Portrait of an American Man of Leisure”
Lance Schachterle, “On The Prairie”
John McWilliams, “Inscribing the Prairie Sunset: Cooper, Cather, and Momaday”
Matthew Wynn Sivils, “‘Its Ghastly Visage’: Cooper’s Leather-Stocking Tales and the Grotesque”
Steven P. Harthorn, “The Pathfinder and Cooper’s Return to Popular Literature”
Wayne Franklin, “‘One More Scene’: The Marketing Context of Cooper’s ‘Sixth’ Leather-Stocking Tale”
Notes on Contributors
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Leather-stocking redux, or, Old tales, new essays / edited by Jeffrey Walker
p. cm. — (AMS studies in the nineteenth century, ISSN 0196-657x ; no. 43)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-0-404-64473-4 (cloth : alk. paper) — ISBN 978-0-404-62643-3 (pbk. : alk. paper)
1. Cooper, James Fenimore, 1789–1851. Leatherstocking tales.
2. Historical fiction, American—History and criticism.
3. Indians in literature.
4. African Americans in literature.
5. Racially mixed people in literature.
6. Frontier and pioneer life in literature.
7. Sex role in literature.
8. Politics in literature.
I. Walker, Jeffrey, 1946–
II. Title: Leather-stocking redux.
III. Title: Old tales, new essays.