Completing Leatherstocking collection
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EP has agreed to break up their set and just send me The Pioneers, which has not been available for purchase previously. I had the other 4 for 30 years. So if you need to complete your set you might ask them to send you just that volume.
Glad you were finally able to get a copy of The Pioneers! I ended up buying one the Leatherstocking sets a while ago and selling my other individual titles.
I bought this set, but haven't read them yet:
>4 Eastoner: that's the Pioneer I am getting. I chose to keep my various EP and Franklin, so mine are all different.
>4 Eastoner: I got he Pioneers. Small but nice. Here is the suggested order from the JFCooper society.
There has long been controversy as to the order in which the Leatherstocking Tales should be read -- in the order that Cooper composed them (as listed below), or in the "chronological" order of Natty Bumppo's fictional life (i.e.: Deerslayer; Mohicans; Pathfinder; Pioneers; Prairie ). We, and probably a majority of serious Cooper readers, recommend the order in which Cooper wrote the books, because the character of Natty Bumppo developed gradually over the some 15 years during which they were composed.
THE PIONEERS; or, The Sources of the Susquehanna: In 1793 the aging Leatherstocking hunts on the outskirts of the New York frontier village of Templeton (Cooperstown). With his old Indian friend he shelters a mysterious young stranger who has fallen in love with Elizabeth, daughter of the village's founder. The wasteful ways of the rough settlers conflict with Judge Temple's efforts to preserve timber, fish, and game, and Leatherstocking finds the rules of civilization incompatible with his wilderness ways. The Pioneers is America's first eloquent plea for the conservation of natural resources. Cooper drew heavily on memories of early Cooperstown people, places, and scenes in this affectionate portrait of frontier life. first published in 1823
THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS; or, A Narrative of 1757 : The scene is Lake George during the French and Indian War. Leatherstocking (Hawkeye) and his Indian friends Chingachgook and Uncas lead Cora and Alice Munro and their companions into the besieged Fort William Henry, and, after its capture by the French, on an action-packed escape through the war-torn Adirondack wilderness. 1826
THE PRAIRIE: A Tale: In 1804 Leatherstocking, now in his eighties, has fled the frontier to the prairies beyond the Mississippi, where roving bands of Pawnees and Sioux fight in an ocean (or desert) of grass that seems to symbolize how man can destroy his environment. Here the old scout saves an expedition seeking to rescue the beautiful Inez Middleton, held captive by Ishmael Bush and his clan of white outlaws. 1827
THE PATHFINDER; or, The Inland Sea. Oswego, in 1759, is a remote British outpost on the shore of Lake Ontario. Leatherstocking and his Indian friend aid the besieged garrison and the crew of the warship Scud, and falls in love with Mabel Dunham, the Sergeant's daughter. Cooper drew heavily on his own experience as a U.S. Naval Officer on Lake Ontario before the War of 1812. 1840
THE DEERSLAYER; or, The First War Path: The setting is Lake Otsego, the Glimmerglass. It is the same setting as The Pioneers but in 1745 it a placid lake deep in the colonial wilderness. Young Leatherstocking, with his Indian friend Chingachgook, finds his manhood as he faces death and torture to save Hetty and Judith Hutter, and the Indian maiden Wah-ta-Wah, from a band of hostile Indians, and meets the challenge of Judith's love. 1841
Thanks for the helpful summaries. I read Last of the Mohicans about 55 years ago, so I might have forgotten some of the small details! I suspect the reading order doesn't really matter, as each story stands on its own. I actually preferred his sea novels when I read them a mere 40 years ago.
>6 HugoDumas: Thank you for the write up! I think when I finally get to them I will read them in the order that they were published as you suggested.
>8 Eastoner: read the Pioneers. The illustrations are excellent. Note though this was written first, it really is the last chapter in the Leatherstocking tales. Not a typical Last of the Mohican adventure. More of a treatise on Pioneer life and ecology. I suspect after writing this he decided to go back and spin some adventurous tales.
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