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Career

James Fenimore Cooper's first book was published anonymously in 1820. Entitled Precaution, it was followed in 1821 by his novel The Spy and, in 1823 by the first in his well-known Leatherstocking series, The Pioneers. It was followed three years later by the second in the series, and Cooper's single best known work, The Last of the Mohicans. In 1827 he wrote his first novel published in Paris, The Red Rover, which was followed by the third in the Leatherstocking series, The Prairie. His 1831 novel The Bravo marked the point when his writings began to take on a political bent, followed by equally political The Heidenmauer and The Headsman: or the Abbaye if Vigneron, which were published in 1832 and 1833 respectively. Also in 1833 he published A Letter to My Countrymen, which addressed the controversy generated by some of his works. After a long break during which he had published twenty-seven novels, stories, histories, memoirs and other works, he returned to the Leatherstocking series in 1840, with a novel entitled The Pathfinder. The final book in the series, The Deerslayer, was published the following year. Following the conclusion of the series, he published a further twenty-one novels, biographies and short stories. In total, he published fifty-seven works. 

Personal Life

James Fenimore Cooper was born in New Jersey, but raised in Cooperstown, a town founded by his father, in New York State. At thirteen he was enrolled at Yale University, but expelled soon after due to a dangerous prank. At 21 he married Susan DeLancey, with whom he had seven children, five of whom lived to adulthood, including his daughter Susan Fenimore Cooper, a noted writer in her own right. In 1826 he moved his family to Europe, returning to America in 1833 and his boyhood home at Cooperstown in 1834. He died there of dropsy a day before his 62nd birthday.
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