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The Last of the Mohicans (Wordsworth Classics) [Paperback]

James Fenimore Cooper
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 May 1992 Wordsworth Classics

This Wordsworth Editions includes an exclusive Introduction and Notes by David Blair. University of Kent at Canterbury.

It is 1757. Across north-eastern America the armies of Britain and France struggle for ascendancy. Their conflict, however, overlays older struggles between nations of native Americans for possession of the same lands and between the native peoples and white colonisers. Through these layers of conflict Cooper threads a thrilling narrative, in which Cora and Alice Munro, daughters of a British commander on the front line of the colonial war, attempt to join their father. Thwarted by Magua, the sinister 'Indian runner', they find help in the person of Hawkeye, the white woodsman, and his companions, the Mohican Chingachgook and Uncas, his son, the last of his tribe.

Cooper's novel is full of vivid incident- pursuits through wild terrain, skirmishes, treachery and brutality- but reflects also on the interaction between the colonists and the native peoples. Through the character of Hawkeye, Cooper raises lasting questions about the practises of the American frontier and the eclipse of the indigenous cultures.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd; paperback / softback edition (5 May 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853260495
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853260490
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.8 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"I think these World's Classics editions are really fine. The notes are meaningful and very useful to students, yet the way they are indicated in the text is not intrusive. Great job!."--Grace Epstein, Stephens College "[An] excellent inexpensive paperback edition. Much better quality than equivilant volumes. The explanatory notes are a valuable addition."--Jeff Cupp, Troy State University "'Historical Contexts' concise yet thorough. Apparatus generally very satisfying in its relevance and thoroughness."--Fred R. McFadden, Coppin State College "At last, a paperback book under $4.00! this edition is indeed a "World Classic."--Paul Putt, Lee College "Introductory material and historical notes are helpful."--Dr. Judy L. Martin, Missouri Western State College --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

James Fenimore Cooper was the great professional American author. He was born on Septenber 15, 1789, in Burlington, New Jersey, and grew up in the frontier village of Cooperstown, New York, in the heart of the wilderness he was to immortalize in his frontier novels. A high-spirited youth, he was expelled from Yale because of a prank and was finally signed by the navy by his strong-willed father. In 1819 a trfling incident repordatly led to the writing of his first book. Reading aloud to his wife from a populr English novel, he exclaimed, I could write you a better book myself! The result was Precausion (1820), which followed in 1821 by his first real success, The Spy.Cooper became a prolific writer, creating two unique genres that were to become staples in American literature the sea romance and the frontier adventure story. The first of the famous Leatherstocking tales, The Pioneers, appeared in 1823 and introduced the wilderness scout Natty Bumppo. This detailed portrait of frontier life has been called the first truly American novel. In The Last of the Mohicans (1826) Natty Bumppo becomes the well-loved Hawkeye befriended by the noble Indian Chingachgook; the novel remains a favorite American classic. Other Leatherstocking tales were The Prairie (1827), The Pathfinder (1840) influenced both Herman Melville and Joseph Conrad and led to the use of the sea novel as vehicle for spiritual and moral explorations. Cooper also wrote political satire, romance, and the meticulously researched History of the Navy of the United States of America (1839). By the time of his death on September 14, 1851, he was considered America s national novelist. John P. McWilliams is Professor of American Literature at Middlebury College, Vermont. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Last of the Mohicans - a Classic 12 Feb 2011
By BillG
Format:Kindle Edition
I enjoyed the book once I had got to grips with the dialogue which is after all from 1821.

Admittedly a little slow in places and certainly I had to read back over some paragraphs to ensure that I understood because of the flowery language, but with images coloured by modern film adaptations I thought the book possessed of charm and I did recognise the basics of the plot.

synonymous with the phrase "Last of the Mohicans" in modern day, Hawkeye does not actually occupy centre-stage but is more a general player and the skirmishes in the latter part of the tale are quite good and the ceremonies emotively described.

Throw away your preconceptions and read it for what it is, an enjoyable tale of a savage time thankfully long-gone but eloquently described.

I am glad I gave it my attention.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the wait 17 Sep 2001
By A Customer
First a confession: 'The Last of the Mohicans' had been on my bookshelf for four years and I'd never got past the third chapter. But with a five week break between jobs, I knew that if I didn't read it now, I never would. The first half of the book is slow, and Cooper's language is not easy on the modern eye. As other reviewers have pointed out, the plot does seem in places tenuous and the narrative over descriptive, but the book's strength is the brilliant characterisation. Despite the setting, as the story develops, the reader can identify strongly with the hopes and fears of the main characters. My fear on first opening this book that it would be irrelevant to my life proved wrong.
This book may be hard-going, but it's worth reading. You need to take some time over it and persevere with the first half, but when you finish the book you'll feel it was worth it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic tale that will outlive its readers 22 Aug 1998
By A Customer
The definitive tale of the American frontier in 1757, Cooper's masterwork captures the essence of this corner of American history. A vivid tale of honour, courage and love set against the backdrop of the French-British war, this book will be read and re-read for as long as people still print books
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story, great illustrations! 10 April 1998
By A Customer
The Last of the Mohicans is a classic in any form, but with Wyeth's illustrations, Cooper's story becomes a vivid tale of adventure, peril, and nobility long gone. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A TIMELESS MASTERPIECE 20 Sep 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
One of the all time great books that I enjoyed reading as a boy and was soon lost in the pages again when I started reading it.A classic rip-roaring adventure ,well worth the reading
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a CUT above your average 'classic'! 21 Aug 2011

During an earlier chapter of `The Last of The Mohicans' (1826), sharp-shooting, white-skinned scout, Hawkeye is trailing the heroes and heroines of the story, all of whom have been captured by the malevolent Huron tribe. Finding and following their trail through the forest is a meticulous, painstaking task that requires no stone to be left unturned and no snapped twig to be ignored. In many ways, this process reflects the novel as a whole. This is a `classic' which takes its time.

Those interested in a summary of the plot of `The Last of The Mohicans' will find such information easy to come by via a range of websites and scholarly studies. Suffice to say here that the action takes place in the mid-1700s - in what is now New York - at a time when the French and British were fighting for control over `The New World'. The book is of definite historical interest as Cooper recreates many of the key events of the struggle with real attention to detail, notably the fall of Fort William Henry and the massacre which followed. In its conclusion, `The Last of The Mohicans' also offers a poignant reflection upon this era in history in which the imperialistic ambitions of white Europeans dictated the fate of the Native American population.

However, to appreciate the incident and messages on offer requires real patience. Indeed, when considered amongst the broad range of `classic' novels, `The Last of The Mohicans' will be appreciated by those who revelled in the unabridged `Lorna Doone'. If, like me, you prefer the more immediate action-adventure of such tales as `Journey To The Centre Of The Earth', `King Solomon's Mines' or `The Prisoner of Zenda', `The Last of The Mohicans' might be best placed towards the bottom of you reading `to do' list.

Barty's Score: 6.5/10
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the Effort 14 Aug 2010
This novel is written in the language of the time, and as with most, if not all 'Classics' this book could be viewed as 'hard-going'; indeed some reviewers have said just that. However it is well worth the effort to read on, as the pace does speed up. A great classic, and a great film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars worth every penny 4 April 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the second book in the Leatherstocking Tales which spans an entire life of a single man: Natty Bumpo otherwise known as Deerslayer in the first book, Hawkeye in this one, Pathfinder in the third book and Leatherstocking in the ones to follow, or just Natty. The Deerslayer concentrated on the early years, his early twenties whereas in this book he has become an experienced scout, hunter and is known throughout the colonies as Hawkeye for his exceptional shooting ability with the rifle known as Killdeer, first obtained in the Deerslayer. Natty is now about 35 years old. Suffice it to say, he is now a man of renown. It starts when he is engaged in rescuing the daughters of Colonel Munro from the revengeful Magua who was whipped by Colonel Munro and swore vengence on the children of Munro. It also covers the time of Braddock's defeat after the loss of Fort William Henry. It discusses, in earnest, the decline of the Native American population in the East. It does this through the tale of Uncas the son of Natty's friend Chingachgok. Uncas becomes a kind of symbol of this decline, a brave warrior with great vigour, constitution and heart the story shows that the sun is beginning to set on the native peoples even though they are yet strong and vigorous.

By far the best of the tales I have so far read, having read the first three. It is more dynamic than the other tales and the story moves forward quickly. It is again written in that old style of the 1800's which has its own character and is not unpleasant to read. I enjoyed this book a great deal.

N.B. The Last of the Mohicans is very different from the film of the same name starring Daniel Day Lewis. In fact I would say the story of the original bears very little resemblance to the film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Price
This was requested as a present, and I was a little dubious as to the print style, but the recipient is pleased with it. The print is a little small, but perfectly readable. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Beeskneeshoney
5.0 out of 5 stars Boy o boy.
It turned out to be as good as I had hoped ( written in an older style of writing therefore very descriptive ) and was a terrific read. Read more
Published 3 months ago by james ridyard
5.0 out of 5 stars Download for Kindle.
Iv'e given 5 stars to date but not finished reading the entire Kindle Download. I would recommend for advanced German language readers... Long read 29 chapters...
Published 15 months ago by V. J. Brook
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read
A lovely book to read, but be prepared for the use of (what is now considered to be) old-fashioned English. I loved it!
Published on 17 April 2012 by Aicha
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolute tosh
An ancient "Boy's Own" adventure with ridiculously noble characters. Not an easy read either, it is extremely pompous and overblown. Read more
Published on 1 Jan 2012 by Mr Gordon Davidson
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality, expensive edition
Wanted to buy a good hardback edition of this and at 21.00gbp figured this would be. Turns out BiblioBazaar publishing are print on demand publishers who take freely available... Read more
Published on 27 Jan 2011 by HardBcollector
1.0 out of 5 stars James Fenimore Cooper can't write.
Cooper's characters are as eloquent as Shakespeare himself in one sentence, and grunting like animals in the next. He absolutely cannot write believable dialogue. Read more
Published on 25 Sep 2010 by girlalive
4.0 out of 5 stars Convoluted, involving historical tale of early America
I read all of James Fennimore Cooper's novels in a fever of curiosity about American history about ten years ago, and undoubtedly he is remembered for the right one - the colossal... Read more
Published on 1 Oct 2008 by Louise the book worm
3.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly tough going
I began reading Cooper's arguably most famous work with high expectations. Sadly, I was disappointed. Read more
Published on 1 July 2008 by Geschichtsliebhaber
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