|08-28-2013, 08:07 AM||#1|
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Cooper, James Fenimore: Afloat And Ashore, 28 Aug 2013
James Fenimore Cooper (September 15, 1789 – September 14, 1851) was a prolific and popular American writer of the early 19th century. His historical romances of frontier and Indian life in the early American days created a unique form of American literature. He lived most of his life in Cooperstown, New York, established by his father William. Cooper was a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church and in his later years contributed generously to it. He attended Yale University for three years but was expelled for misbehavior. Before embarking on his career as a writer he served in the U.S. Navy as a Midshipman which greatly influenced many of his novels and other writings. He is best remembered as a novelist who wrote numerous sea-stories and the historical novels known as the Leatherstocking Tales. Among naval historians his works on early U.S. naval history have been widely received but were sometimes criticized by Cooper's contemporaries. Among his most famous works is the Romantic novel The Last of the Mohicans, often regarded as his masterpiece.
I was born in a valley not very remote from the sea. My father had been a sailor in youth, and some of my earliest recollections are connected with the history of his adventures, and the recollections they excited. He had been a boy in the war of the revolution, and had seen some service in the shipping of that period. Among other scenes he witnessed, he had been on board the Trumbull, in her action with the Watt—the hardest-fought naval combat of that war—and he particularly delighted in relating its incidents. He had been wounded in the battle, and bore the marks of the injury, in a scar that slightly disfigured a face, that, without this blemish, would have been singularly handsome. My mother, after my poor father's death, always spoke of even this scar as a beauty spot. Agreeably to my own recollections, the mark scarcely deserved that commendation, as it gave one side of the face a grim and fierce appearance, particularly when its owner was displeased.
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