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The Pathfinder or The Inland Sea by James…
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The Pathfinder or The Inland Sea (original 1840; edition 1952)

by James Fenimore Cooper

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1,124912,668 (3.67)15
The Pathfinder (1840), Cooper's most picturesque novel and the fourth of the five Leatherstocking Tales, is a naval story set on the Great Lakes of the 1750s. Fashioned from Cooper's own experience as a midshipman on Lake Ontario in 1808-09, the novel revives Natty Bumpo (who had died in The Prairie), and illuminates Cooper's interest in American history with his concern for social development.… (more)
Member:zampinthelamp
Title:The Pathfinder or The Inland Sea
Authors:James Fenimore Cooper
Info:Modern Library (1952), Edition: Re Issue, Hardcover
Collections:Your library
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Tags:American Fiction, Classics

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The Pathfinder; or, The Inland Sea by James Fenimore Cooper (Author) (1840)

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» See also 15 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Ex-lib. JCC. Ex-lib. Newburgh Library, Ann Arbor ( )
  ME_Dictionary | Mar 19, 2020 |
this is a Historical Romance! And it includes the Gospel! Well worth reading! ( )
  CAFinNY | Apr 26, 2019 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (75 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cooper, James FenimoreAuthorprimary 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
Pecnard, JacquesIllustratorsecondary 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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

The Pathfinder (1840), Cooper's most picturesque novel and the fourth of the five Leatherstocking Tales, is a naval story set on the Great Lakes of the 1750s. Fashioned from Cooper's own experience as a midshipman on Lake Ontario in 1808-09, the novel revives Natty Bumpo (who had died in The Prairie), and illuminates Cooper's interest in American history with his concern for social development.

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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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