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Coopers first major success, The Spy is also his first book set in the period of the American War of Independence. The story starts in 1870 in the area of the country which was between British-held New York and the Continental Army in the Hudson River Valley and upstate New York. The household of Mr. Wharton and his daughters is visited by the three main protagonists of the story: the mysterious Mr. Harper, an American loyalist; Captain Henry Wharton, the son of the house and an officer in the British Army; and Mr. Harvey Birch, suspected of being a British spy. The differing loyalties of these men are reflected in the differing loyalties of the household they visit with the father trying to remain neutral, his daughter Sarah a supporter of the British and his other daughter Frances supporting the American rebels. The futures of these characters become inextricably linked as they face not only the perils of war, but also the sufferings of the human heart! . This is a compelling adventure which brings to life all the dangers, heartbreak and hope of a society at war with itself.
About the Author
James Fenimore Cooper, acclaimed as one of the first American novelists, was born in Burlington, N.J., on September 15, 1789. When he was one year old, his family moved to Cooperstown, N.Y., which was founded by his father. Cooper attended various grammar schools in Burlington, Cooperstown, and Albany, and entered Yale University in 1803 at the age of 13. In 1806, Cooper was expelled from Yale for pushing a rag with gunpowder under a classmate's door, causing it to explode. He then spent some time as a merchant seaman and served as a midshipman in the U.S. Navy from 1808-1811. In 1811, Cooper married Susan De Lancey, and lived the life of a country gentleman until one day in 1820. Cooper and his wife were reading a book together. When Cooper told Susan that he could write a better book than the one they were reading, she challenged him to do so. Thus began his career as an author, with Precaution (first published anonymously). Cooper is known for writing more than 50 works under his own name, Jane Morgan, and Anonymous. His works included fiction, nonfiction, history, and travel sketches. He gained insight for his travel works while the Cooper family lived in Europe from 1826 to 1833. Cooper is best known for the novel The Last of The Mohicans, which has been made into several motion picture adaptations, the most recent starring Daniel Day-Lewis as Hawkeye. The Last of the Mohicans is part of The Leatherstocking Tales, which includes the other novels, The Pioneers, The Deerslayer, and The Pathfinder. Hawkeye, whose given name is Nathaniel Bumpo, is a recurring character in the series which accurately chronicles early American pioneering life and events during the French and Indian War. In 1851, Cooper developed a liver condition, dying on September 14th of that year, just one day before his 62nd birthday.
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