Cooper's 1846 novel about the Anti-Rent Wars in upstate New York, now available in a scholarly edition.
The Redskins, James Fenimore Cooper's 1846 novel about the Anti-Rent Wars in upstate New York, is now available in a scholarly edition. The final work in the "Littlepage trilogy," The Redskins includes Cooper's enduring theme of Indigenous-White relations but examines it in the context of contemporary tensions between wealthy landlords and their tenant farmers in the Hudson Valley region. The work is narrated in the voice of a privileged landowner who presents an impassioned defense of the aristocratic class in America and thus raises cardinal questions regarding Cooper's own intentions and authorial control. Cooper himself was often derided as an "aristocrat" in this later phase of his career, and the novel can be read as both an endorsement of and a rebuttal to that judgment. Edited by Hugh Egan, this volume includes extensive historical background material as well as pertinent textual notes based on the original manuscript. As part of the series in the Writings of James Fenimore Cooper, this MLA-approved edition of The Redskins will serve as the definitive text for future teachers and scholars alike.
The Writings of James Fenimore Cooper
The distinguished Cooper scholar James Franklin Beard (1919–1989) began organizing the Writings of James Fenimore Cooper in the late 1960s, as his work on publishing the monumental Letters and Journals of James Fenimore Cooper came to fulfillment. Beard's intention was to provide readers with sound scholarly editions of Cooper's major works, based wherever possible on authorial manuscripts. To date, the Writings of James Fenimore Cooper has made available texts of many of Cooper's best-known novels, as well as some of his most important works of political and social commentary.
Hugh Egan is Professor of Literatures in English at Ithaca College.