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by Cooper, James Fenimore

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  • first
Very good plus.
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Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
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About This Item

Philadelphia: H.C. Carey & I. Lea, 1826. Very good plus.. First printing, first issue of this classic of US literature, a major influence on the development of the Western, American Romanticism, and North American-set historical fiction. One of the earliest writers born in the United States to achieve success on an international scale, Cooper has had a formative influence on the path of American literature that is difficult to overstate. Cooper was perhaps the most significant popularizer of "key forms of American fiction - the Western, the sea tale, the Revolutionary romance" (Franklin, xi). His works sought to build a uniquely American tradition, and his books' sales went a long way towards doing so. In defining the path for future writers, Cooper laid the groundwork for American masterpieces like Hawthorne's SCARLET LETTER and Melville's MOBY-DICK. Even those who disliked his work, like Mark Twain, owe him a debt (which Twain well knew): as Wayne Franklin puts it, "without Cooper, there could have been no Mark Twain" (xxii).
LAST OF THE MOHICANS is a historical novel set during the French and Indian War in 1757, and based in part on Cooper's understanding of the Mohican tribe, part of the Eastern Algonquian family that were forcibly relocated west in the decade after this book's publication. It was Cooper's most successful book to date, and carried his reputation abroad: "In Europe the book produced quite a startling effect," recalled his daughter, the author Susan Fenimore Cooper. In mythologizing the beginning of the United States, LAST OF THE MOHICANS set the terms for how US citizens would tell stories about themselves. (The title itself refers to a myth still incorrectly believed by many descendants of European colonists today, that all the Indigenous nations were disappearing.) The book vividly describes the American wilderness, tying its story to geographic grandeur in an approach (shared by Washington Irving) that applied principles of romanticism to the novel. This focus on nature and narrative was also a critical forerunner to transcendentalist writers like Thoreau. It must also be said that when MOHICANS was translated into the 1992 film it led to, as one of our cataloguers insists, "the greatest film score ever composed" (by Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman). Two 12mo volumes, 7'' x 4'' each. Contemporary full brown sheep, sympathetically rebacked with original gilt-stamped spines and black morocco spine labels laid down. Speckled edges. xii, 282; [4], 289, [1] pages. Minor wear to boards. Light scattered foxing to text, with moderate edgewear to preliminary leaves, small expert paper repairs to margins of a few leaves, including title of vol II. Evidence of dampstain to gutters at front and rear. Offsetting from (no longer present) bookplates to title pages. Hinges cracked, but cords holding firm. Binding sturdy, text cleaner than typical.


The Last of the Mohicans: A Narrative of 1757 by James Fenimoore Cooper is the second and best-known book of his Leatherstocking Tales pentalogy. Like the rest of the books in the series, the story follows the adventures of Natty Bumppo, nicknamed “Hawkeye” by his Native American friends. Set in 1757 in the American wilderness that would become New York State, The Last of the Mohicans takes place during the Seven Years' War (known in America as the French and Indian War). The book is widely read in American Literature courses, particularly in discussions of westward expansion and Native American assimilation, although Cooper himself was considered sympathetic towards Native Americans.

Read More: Identifying first editions of THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS


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Type Punch Matrix US (US)
Bookseller's Inventory #
Cooper, James Fenimore
Book Condition
Used - Very good plus.
Quantity Available
H.C. Carey & I. Lea
Place of Publication
Date Published
19th century,US American,Books to Film

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About the Seller

Type Punch Matrix

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio member since 2020
Silver Spring, Maryland

About Type Punch Matrix

Type Punch Matrix is a rare book firm founded by Rebecca Romney and Brian Cassidy. TPM is a member firm of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America and upholds their Code of Ethics.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

Morocco is a style of leather book binding that is usually made with goatskin, as it is durable and easy to dye. (see also...
In reference to a hinge or a book's binding, means that the glue which holds the opposing leaves has allowed them to separate,...
having had the material covering the spine replaced. ...
A duodecimo is a book approximately 7 by 4.5 inches in size, or similar in size to a contemporary mass market paperback. Also...
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....
The collective of the top, fore and bottom edges of the text block of the book, being that part of the edges of the pages of a...
Very generally, "leaves" refers to the pages of a book, as in the common phrase, "loose-leaf pages." A leaf is a single sheet...

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