Gleanings in Europe


By James Fenimore Cooper
Introduction by Thomas Philbrick
Notes by Thomas Philbrick
Text by Constance Ayers Denne & Thomas Philbrick

Subjects: European History
Series: The Writings of James Fenimore Cooper
Paperback : 9780873955966, 348 pages, June 1983
Hardcover : 9780873953689, 348 pages, June 1983

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Table of contents



Historical Introduction


Gleanings in Europe: France

Explanatory Notes

Appendix A. Bentley's analytical Table of Contents

Appendix B. Cooper's manuscript letter on France

Textual Commentary

Textual Notes





France (1837) was the third volume published in Cooper's Gleanings in Europe series, but first in the chronology of his European experience. Less sequential than his other travel narratives, France distills his impressions of French and European culture during his first two years abroad. Exhibiting many qualities of the familiar essay, it considers a wide range of topics of interest to Cooper, his friends, and potential readers in the United States. As a celebrity thoroughly at home in the brilliant society of Bourbon Paris, Cooper was able to provide fascinating glimpses of personalities, spectacles, institutions, and manners—from his distinctly American perspective.

Indeed, as Professor Philbrick remarks, "No other of Cooper's works, perhaps, brings us closer to his speaking voice or puts us more directly in contact with the man himself, with all his idiosyncratic preoccupations, his quick resentments, his restless curiosity, his surprising humor, and his nobility of principle."

The reader of this edition is brought even closer to Cooper in the draft of a hitherto unpublished letter, probably intended for this book, which illustrates Cooper's grasp of the still finer points of French customs and attitudes.