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The Last of the Mohicans

James Fenimore Cooper

The Last of the Mohicans is an epic novel by James Fenimore Cooper, first published in January 1826.

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. Its narrative flaws were criticized from the start, and its length and elaborately formal prose style have reduced its appeal to later readers. Regardless, The Last of the Mohicans remains on the syllabi of most American literature courses. It is the best known of the Leatherstocking Tales, and Cooper wrote his novel The Prairie as a sequel to it.

Plot Summary

The story is set in the British province of New York during the French and Indian War, and concerns a Huron massacre (with passive French acquiescence) of from 500 to 1,500 unarmed Anglo-American troops, who had honorably surrendered at Fort William Henry, plus some women and servants; the kidnapping of two sisters, daughters of the British commander; and their rescue by Hawkeye, the last two Mohicans, and others. Parts of the story may have been derived from the capture and death of Jane McCrea in July 1777 near Fort Edward, New York, by members of an Algonquian tribe.

(From Wikipedia, description text under GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL))

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