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The Last of the Mohicans

James Fenimore Cooper

Book Overview: 

The Last of the Mohicans is an epic novel by James Fenimore Cooper.

It was one of the most popular English-language novels of its time, and helped establish Cooper as one of the first world-famous American writers.The story takes place in 1757 during the French and Indian War, when France and Great Britain battled for control of the American and Canadian colonies. During this war, the French often allied themselves with Native American tribes in order to gain an advantage over the British, with unpredictable and often tragic results.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .the eagle's plume from his head, and smoothing the solitary tuft of hair in readiness to perform its last and revolting office. His countenance was composed, though thoughtful, while his dark gleaming eyes were gradually losing the fierceness of the combat in an expression better suited to the change he expected momentarily to undergo.

"Our case is not, cannot be so hopeless!" said Duncan; "even at this moment succor may be at hand. I see no enemies! they have sickened of a struggle in which they risk so much with so little prospect of gain!"

"It may be a minute, or it may be an hour, afore the wily sarpents steal upon us, and it is quite in natur' for them to be lying within hearing at this very moment," said Hawkeye; "but come they will, and in such a fashion as will leave us nothing to hope! Chingachgook"—he spoke in Delaware—"my brother, we have fought our last battle together, and the Maquas will triumph in the death of the sage man of t. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Cooper was a prolific writer with something like 40 novels to his credit, most written in the early 19th century. The Last of the Mohicans is his best known work and was popular in America as well as Europe. It's a frontier adventure story with a hint of romance to it, but Cooper's portrayal of I...more

I first read this book when I was a boy, and decided to re-read it to see how it held up. The answer: very well.

In fact, I'd say that this book is a "must-read" for any American. Despite the fact that it's in no-way an accurate depiction of native American culture, it's a great reminder of what o...more

Have you ever wondered what life was like during the American frontier era of the early 1800's, before civilization encroached upon its wildness and beauty? If so, you might consider reading this first book in Cooper's "Leatherstocking Tales."

Cooper's account was realistic and informative as he h...more

What can one say about Cooper? His historical imagination is profound, his creative use of the gothic landscape is uniquely American, and his influence on plot and characterization in American fiction--including, I recently discovered, South American fiction--is pervasive and extensive. Yet his d...more

Very popular in its time, The Last of the Mohicans is a historical fiction written in the 1820s and set in the 1750s during the French and Indian War in which a small party of British colonists and their Indian guides journey through the upstate New York wilderness defending themselves from their...more

I can still remember the edition of this that---somehow---I had in my room as a child. It was a hardback, dense type, the occasional woodcut, thin pages, tightly bound, and it smelled like it had been mouldering under somebody's bed since Martin Van Buren ass-ended to the presidency. Back then I...more

“Mislike me not, for my complexion, the sad owed livery of the burnished sun.” When you first open Last of the Mohicans, by James Fenimore Cooper this is one of the first things you read. This quote from Shakespeare seems to state that the book will not show the racist tendencies of the time, bu...more

This is another famous book that most people only seem to know through the movie version. While the movie was quite good-the book is truly a wonder. First a little bit of real history-during 1755, in the middle of the French-Indian Wars, Sir William Johnson decided to build a Fort in the New York...more

I was always a big fan of the 1992 Michael Mann film starring Daniel Day Lewis, and so I finally read the original.

First of all, that movie is loosely based upon the book and it turns out Mann never even read the original but based his film on the 1936 film script. Cooper published the work in 1...more

Note: I've just edited this review slightly to correct a chronological typo. When I read this book the first time, I was nine, not seven years old --I knew, when I wrote the first draft of this review, that I was in 4th grade the first time, so I don't know what I was thinking when I typed "seven...more

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