First Edition of Cooper's Last of the Mohicans, One of the Most Celebrated American Novels of the Early Nineteenth Century
James Fenimore Cooper. The Last of the
Mohicans; A Narrative of 1757. Philadelphia: H. C.
Carey & I. Lea, 1826. First edition. BAL state A of the
copyright notice in volume II. Two octavo volumes bound into one.
xii, 282; [ii], 289, [1, blank] pages. Lacking terminal blank leaf
in volume I, and blank leaf after title-page in volume II (which is
common). Bound in contemporary full brown calf, brown morocco
lettering label on spine. Binding worn with tears, chipping, and
with cuts in the leather. Text is toned, foxed and soiled. Text is
trimmed a bit close, with some loss to text at fore-edge for first
several leaves. In volume I, page xi is misbound at the beginning
of the Preface, pages 197-208 of volume II are mistakenly inserted
into volume I at page 36, pages 1-4 are torn and have crude
stitched repairs, pages 33-35 are chipped at lower corner with some
loss of text (pieces are present), page 59 lacking upper corner
with loss of page number. In volume II the title-page is torn at
the inner margin, there is a short tear at the lower margin of page
53/54, and the last few pages are torn at the inner margin and a
bit tattered at the edges. A good copy.
This book, the second in Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales series, was by far the most popular, and one of the first American novels to achieve worldwide success. Even today, it remains one of the most widely-read novels in the world. Its depiction of the American frontier and Native Americans greatly influenced the world's view of America in the nineteenth-century and beyond.
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