The Spy Condensed for use in schools cover

The Spy Condensed for use in schools

James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851)

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    STANDARD LITERATURE SERIES THE SPY BY J. FENIMORE COOPER CONDENSED FOR USE IN SCHOOLS WITH AN INTRODUCTION AND EXPLANATORY NOTES NEW YORK AND NEW ORLEANS UNIVERSITY PUBLISHING CO. 1898 COPYRIGHT, 1895, BY UNIVERSITY PUBLISHING CO. Press of J. J. Little & Co. Astor Place, New YorkINTRODUCTION.James Fenimore Cooper was born in Burlington, N. J., in 1789 the year in which George Washington was inaugurated first President of the United States. His boyhood was passed at Cooperstown, N. Y., a village founded by his father. After completing his studies at Yale, young Cooper entered the American navy as midshipman, subsequently obtaining the rank of lieutenant. He also made some voyages in a merchant vessel, and in this service acquired that knowledge of sea life of which he made good use in many of his novels.Cooper has been styled the Walter Scott of America. It is hardly an exaggeration to rank him so high, for he has done for America what Scott did for Scotland: he has illustrated and popularized much of its history and many of its olden traditions in stories that will have appreciative readers so long as the English language is spoken. As a recent writer observes, he "wrote for men and women as well as for boys and girls," and the best of his stories are "purely American, native born, and native bred."Another distinction must be assigned to Cooper, and it is a mark of high merit: he was the first American novelist who became widely known and esteemed in foreign countries. "The Spy" appeared in 1821 a time when American literature was in its infancy. Though but the second of the author's works, it immediately became popular on both sides of the Atlantic. It was translated into several European languages, and may even, we are told, be read in the Persian tongue.Other stories quickly followed. "The Pioneer" was published in 1822. This and "The Deerslayer," "The Pathfinder," "The Last of the Mohicans," and "The Prairie" belong to the series known as the Leatherstocking Tales, so called from Leatherstocking Natty, the most celebrated of the characters introduced...