The Deerslayer, by James Fenimore Cooper, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics* *series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:
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"Live by your own council. Be brave in the face of the unknown. Be always fair."
-Natty Bumppo, The Deerslayer
One of the greatest heroes in American literature, Natty Bumppo is the rugged frontiersman of James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales, a series of five novels that includes The Last of the Mohicans and The Deerslayer. Although the final volume to be written, The Deerslayer is the first in the chronology of Natty Bumppo's life, depicting the character as a young man testing himself in the wilderness, and against enemies, for the first time.
Set in the 1740's just as the French and Indian wars have begun, the novel opens as Natty Bumppoknown as Deerslayerand his friend Hurry Harry travel to Tom Hutter's house in upstate New York. Hurry plans to marry Tom's beautiful daughter Judith, while Deerslayer has come to help his close friend Chingachgook save his bride-to-be, Wah-ta-Wah, from the Huron Indians. When war breaks out, and Hurry and Tom are captured by Indians, Deerslayer must go on his first warpath to rescue them.
One of the earliest novels to be considered truly "American," The Deerslayer is a masterpiece of suspense, adventure, and romance.
Bruce L. R. Smith is a fellow at the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University. He is the author or editor of sixteen scholarly books, and he continues to lecture widely in the United States and abroad.