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The Pathfinder; or, The Inland Sea by James…
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The Pathfinder; or, The Inland Sea (1840)

by James Fenimore Cooper, Jacques Pecnard (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Leatherstocking Tales (4)

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
A nice edition, with few typos and excellent critical apparatus. You don't, strictly speaking, need the notes (unless you must know the meaning of every nautical term), but you'll come to appreciate them for providing welcome breaks in the text of what must surely be one of the worst novels ever written; and I say this as someone who has read the Lensman series.

Much of the problem stems from Cooper's inability to shut up. Take this from chapter III (page 36 in this edition). The paragraph beginning “The Oswego...”. He expands on his subject for 159 words (it wouldn't be so bad but it's not even beautiful language) before summarising those words by saying “In short...” That sentence itself is 43 words long. Except he still cannot shut up and he then continues for a further 142 words. What a waste of my time.

Or take this cracker from chapter XVII (page 250): “…the indefinable and controlling sense of womanly diffidence, made her suppress her womanly curiosity.” Now, if womanly diffidence is two things, and one of them is controlling, it must be possible to define the other thing. It's lazy writing and this is not the only time when I wondered if what we had here was a first draft. Particularly telling is Cooper's comment in his introduction that Mabel was first named Agnes, but that he changed it during the writing. Apparently the first edition called her by Agnes until the fifth or sixth chapter. Why was he submitting a half revised manuscript for publication and why did he not bother to proofread the text?

I found myself asking not only why I was reading the book, but why it was written. What is it about? There seems to be a theme of trust and betrayal, and this is reflected in several sub-plots, or perhaps more accurately plot fragments, but I am forced to conclude, with astonishment, that this is the story of how Mabel got married. Why is this story about getting married been set against a background of nautical adventure and why is Natty Bumppo in it at all? Why is the heroine so boring? Why is Cooper's attitude to women so creepy? Why why why? ( )
  Lukerik | Jun 17, 2015 |
Great cover design on this edition. ( )
  jimsnopes | Sep 29, 2011 |
Epic novel by Cooper. Third in the Leatherstocking Tales series.
  austinwood | Sep 19, 2009 |
An excellent book! I quite enjoyed this story of the American frontier on the Great Lakes. Natty Bumppo (called Pathfinder in this book) falls in love. Can such a thing succeed when he is such a wild man? A great story, though sometimes the dialogue gets a bit wordy. Descriptions are lovely. I look forward to readin gmore of Cooper. ( )
1 vote jennannej | Jan 10, 2008 |
One has to be in the proper mood to enjoy these books. A bit of romance, a bit of adventure, quite a bit of moralizing. I enjoyed them when I read them, but have no desire to read them again. I've since read enough history to realize just how fictional these are. If you read them for the adventure and the descriptions of the Northeastern woodlands, I don't think you will be disappointed. Sadly, the plot of each has sort of blended together and I can't remember the details of any. ( )
  MrsLee | Nov 30, 2007 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (75 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Fenimore Cooperprimary authorall editionscalculated
Pecnard, JacquesIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Berger, ThomasAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bierstadt, AlbertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heyerdahl, ChristianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Humphreys, Donald S.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Milham, Mary E.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers, Richard M.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spiller, Robert E.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stauffer, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The turf shall be my fragrant shrine;
My temple, Lord! that arch of thine;
My censer's breath the mountain airs,
And silent thoughts my only prayers.
MOORE
Dedication
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The sublimity connected with vastness is familiar to every eye.
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Book description
Setting 1740s; Natty Bumppo as "pathfinder" in his 20s; military action and courtship in years prior to Last of the Mohicans
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451530195, Mass Market Paperback)

Vigorous, self-reliant, amazingly resourceful, and moral, Natty Bumppo is the prototype of the Western hero. A faultless arbiter of wilderness justice, he hates middle-class hypocrisy. But he finds his love divided between the woman he has pledged to protect on a treacherous journey and the untouched forest that sustains him in his beliefs. A fast-paced narrative full of adventure and majestic descriptions of early frontier life, Indian raiders, and defenseless outposts, The Pathfinder set the standard for epic action literature.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:55 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

This fourth novel in Cooper's Leatherstocking series recounts Natty Bumppo's courtship of a young woman against the backdrop of the French and Indian War.

» see all 3 descriptions

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