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The Last of the Mohicans

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper was part of a series of novels known collectively as "The Leatherstocking Tales," of which there are five, all produced between 1823 and 1841. The Last of the Mohicans was the second in the series in the order written, though the chronological order of the novels would be different, with the first story chronologically being the last of the five novels produced. Cooper was the first major American novelist, and his books are infused with an understanding of the colonial period, though Cooper himself was born not only after that era but after the founding of the country in 1776. In this and other novels in the series, Cooper presents images of the American Indian and relates them to the wilderness in which they live and to the civilization being forced upon them by the white settlers. Several different Indian tribes are included in the story of The Last of the Mohicans, with the main characters of Chingachgook and Uncas, his son, standing as the ideal of a noble tribe now reduced to just these two.

Cooper excelled as a novelist, social critic, and historian, and his sense of history serves him well in The Last of the Mohicans. He had a relatively short literary career spanning 31 years, and during that time he published 33 substantial works of fiction, three books of explicit social and political commentary, five travel books, a huge history of the United States navy, a book of naval biographies, and much miscellaneous writing, some probably still unknown to scholars because Cooper published much anonymously. He was a leader in the movement to make America intellectually and artistically independent of Europe, and so he turned to indigenous subject matter and used his abilities as a historian to recreate earlier eras seeking the essence of the American experience. He had a major influence on the development of writing in the early period of U.S. history, and James F. Beard J...

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The Last of the Mohicans. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 13:43, May 21, 2019, from