This collector-quality edition includes the complete text of James Fenimore Cooper's classic tale of the conflicts and complications brought by the advance of civilization along the New York frontier in a freshly edited and newly typeset edition. With a large 7.44"x9.69" page size, this Summit Classic edition is printed on hefty 60# bright white paper with a fully laminated cover featuring an original full color design. Page headers and proper placement of footnotes exemplify the attention to detail given this volume. "The Pioneers," published in 1823, was the first of James Fenimore Cooper's five novels comprising the "Leatherstocking Tales" saga, although the time period in which the story is set makes it the fourth chronologically. Set in 1793, the tale opens with a dispute between an elderly Natty Bumppo, called Leatherstocking in this story, and Judge Marmaduke Temple of Templeton over who killed a buck. Perhaps ahead of his time, Cooper explores the complex themes of land use and stewardship along the rapidly receding frontier in the vicinity of Lake Otsego, New York, and the relationship between the residents of the growing town and the earlier inhabitants of the frontier. This building conflict between Leatherstocking and his close friend, the Mohican Indian Chingachgook, and Judge Temple and the growing settlement provides the impetus for the story, which moves forward to its sadly inevitable conclusion against the backdrop of Cooper's vivid depictions of a frontier which he personally saw vanishing in his youth. Cooper in fact grew up in Cooperstown, New York, founded by his father, a New Jersey congressman, and many have suggested that this tale is at least partially autobiographical, with the Judge and the character Elizabeth patterned after Cooper's father and a sister. Cooper himself denied these assertions, stating that while the setting reflected his boyhood home the characters were fictional. He seems to have particularly resented the idea that Elizabeth was based on a favorite sister who died young, saying that patterning a fictional character after her would denigrate her memory. With the publication of "The Spy" in 1821, James Fenimore Cooper became an international figure and the first authentic American novelist, free of the forms and conventions of the British fiction of the day. In a writing career spanning thirty years, over thirty novels and an extensive body of lesser works, with "The Leatherstocking Tales" he became the first great interpreter of the American experience, chronicling the adventures of the indomitable Natty Bumppo, known variously as "Hawkeye," "Deerslayer," "Pathfinder," "Leatherstocking" and other names, from the colonial Indian wars through the early expansion into the vast western plains. Published between 1823 and 1841, beginning with "The Pioneers" and ending with "The Deerslayer", the tales are set against historical events ranging from 1740 to 1804, with Cooper taking some literary license with the actual chronology of events, probably to avoid having Bumppo ranging the Great Plains at over 90 years of age. This edition of "The Pioneers" is the second volume in a new series of the complete Leatherstocking Tales to be released by Summit Classic Press in the coming months.
James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1857) was an American author active during the first half of the 19th century. Though his most popular work includes historical romance fiction centered around pioneer and Native American life, Cooper also wrote works of nonfiction and explored social, political and historical themes in hopes of eliminating the European prejudice against Americans and nurturing original art and culture in America.