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The Pioneers

James Fenimore Cooper

Book Overview: 

The Pioneers: The Sources of the Susquehanna; a Descriptive Tale is one of the Leatherstocking Tales, a series of five novels by American writer James Fenimore Cooper.
The story takes place on the rapidly advancing frontier of New York State and features a middle-aged Leatherstocking (Natty Bumppo), Judge Marmaduke Temple of Templeton, whose life parallels that of the author’s father Judge William Cooper, and Elizabeth (the author Susan Cooper), of Cooperstown. The story begins with an argument between the Judge and the Leatherstocking over who killed a buck, and as Cooper reviews many of the changes to his fictional Lake Otsego, questions of environmental stewardship, conservation, and use prevail. The plot develops as the Leatherstocking and Chingachgook begin to compete with the Temples for the loyalties of a young visitor, Oliver Effingham. Effingham eventually marries Elizabeth. Chingachgook dies, exemplifying the vexed figure of the “dying Indian,” and Natty vanishes into the sunset. For all its strange twists and turns, ‘The Pioneers’ may be considered one of the first ecological novels in the United States.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Here he generally stayed a week; and was reputed to spend much of that time in riotous living, greatly countenanced by Mr. Richard Jones. But every one loved him, even to Remarkable Pettibone, to whom he occasioned some additional trouble, he was so frank, so sincere, and, at times, so mirthful. He was now on his regular Christmas visit, and had not been in the village an hour when Richard summoned him to fill a seat in the sleigh to meet the landlord and his daughter.

Before explaining the character and situation of Mr. Grant, it will be necessary to recur to times far back in the brief history of the settlement.

There seems to be a tendency in human nature to endeavor to provide for the wants of this world, before our attention is turned to the business of the other. Religion was a quality but little cultivated amid the stumps of Temple’s Patent for the first few years of its settlement; but, as most of its inhabitant. . . Read More

Community Reviews

The best books by James Fenimore Cooper to read are old ones. Naturally, there will never be any new Cooper books so I mean the best editions to read are those from your local public library: specifically the ones no one has touched in 30 years. According to the circulation card in the back of the c

Lately, I've been seeing much honor being given to a recently deceased author whose famous "10 Rules of Writing" stress the importance of fast, non-descriptive, skip-the-boring parts narrative. It warms me to know this late author would have hated James Fenimore Cooper's "The Pioneers", as would his

Несподівано для себе вирішив перечитати класику і улюблений цикл підліткових часів. Але цього разу не в хронологічному порядку ("Звіробій", "Останній з могікан", "Слідопит", "Піонери", "Прерія"), а в порядку написання ("Піонери", "Останній з могікан", "Прерія", "Слідопит", "Звіробій"). І одразу скаж

Natty Bumppo, Leatherstocking or Hawkeye is one of the key characters in this the fourth in the Leatherstocking series. Set in the 1790s in New York state and based on Cooperstown it tells the story of progress versus the past. On one side is Judge Marmaduke Temper representing progress and capitali

If set in chronological order, The Pioneers is the fourth of James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales, but it is the first of the series that he wrote. All may be considered standalones.

The story circles around pioneers settled in a small town of central New York, near Lake Otsego. The lake do

I'm going to assert with some confidence that this is the earliest novel to take conservationism as its theme, and considering it is 200 years old, that is quite an accomplishment (while his contemporaries were only just awakening to the destructive side of the Industrial Revolution, Cooper already

Interesting characters and site. There isn't much plot, though.

My favourite part of the book is the beginning, which describes Christmas Eve and Christmas day in Templeton. The descriptions of the activities of the settlers gives us a good idea what life was like there. I liked the descriptions of the town and forest in winter as well.
On the negative side, the

The way I progressed through James Fenimore Cooper's The Pioneers was unique. It took a lot of effort and various strategies for me to get this book finished, but I did finish it. Long ago, I stole the entire Leatherstocking Tales (five paperback copies by varying publishers) from my parents' attic.

RTC.

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