The Red Rover

A Tale

By James Fenimore Cooper
Edited by Thomas Philbrick, Marianne Philbrick
Notes by Thomas Philbrick, Marianne Philbrick
Introduction by Thomas Philbrick, and Marianne Philbrick

Subjects: Fiction
Series: The Writings of James Fenimore Cooper
Paperback : 9780791401897, 676 pages, January 1991
Hardcover : 9780791401880, 676 pages, January 1991

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Table of contents



Historical Introduction


Preface [1827]

Preface [1834]

Preface [1850]

The Red Rover

Explanatory Notes

Textual Commentary

Note on the Manuscripts

Textual Notes


Rejected Readings



Turning to his own extensive maritime experience, Cooper's novel, written in Paris in 1827, reflects his immersion in the romantic movement that was sweeping the Continent. European readers enjoyed his poetic and imaginative portrayal of the sea, while American readers were interested in how he depicted the early stirrings of nationalism in the New World decades prior to the Revolution.

Cooper's striking association of the sublime power of nature with the rebellious spirit of his pirate-hero established and defined the sea novel as a literary genre. By far the most influential of his maritime tales, The Red Rover was read and admired by Goethe and Berlioz, Melville and Conrad.

This edition, the first to be based on Cooper's original manuscript, offers the modern reader a major document of romanticism and a compelling narrative of adventure at sea.