Two clothbound, slipcased volumes | 2,400 pages
The five novels in The Leatherstocking Tales, Cooper’s great saga of the American frontier, narrate the conflict of nations (Indian, English, French, and American) amid the dense woods, desolate prairies, and transcendent landscapes of the New World. Leatherstocking, or Natty Bumppo, first appears in The Pioneers as an aged hunter living on the fringe of a New York settlement at the end of the eighteenth century. The Last of the Mohicans looks back to the earlier time of the French and Indian Wars, when Natty and his two companions Chingachgook and Uncas attempt a daring rescue and seek to forestall the plan of the French to unleash a wave of terror. The Prairie takes up Natty in his eighties, driven by the continuous march of civilization to his last refuge on the Great Plains.
American readers couldn’t get enough of the Leatherstocking saga and Cooper brought him back in The Pathfinder. During the Seven Years’ War, just after the events narrated in The Last of the Mohicans, Natty heads for a British outpost on the Great Lakes, where the French and their Indian allies are plotting a treacherous ambush—and, for the first time, Natty falls in love. The Deerslayer brings the saga full circle and follows the young Leatherstocking on his first warpath. Honorable to friend and foe alike, Natty emerges as Cooper’s noblest figure of the American frontier.
Each volume contains authoritative and unabridged texts, helpful notes, and a detailed and informative chronology of the writer’s life.
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The Story of My Boyhood and Youth | My First Summer in the Sierra | The Mountains of California | Stickeen | essays
Clothbound, slipcased edition • 888 pages
A crucial figure in the creation of our national parks system and a far-seeing prophet of environmental awareness who founded the Sierra Club in 1892, John Muir was also a master of natural description who evoked with unique power and intimacy the untrammeled landscapes of the American West. The Story of My Boyhood and Youth is Muir’s memoir of growing up in Scotland, of coming to America with his family at age eleven, and of his early fascination with the natural world. My First Summer in the Sierra is his famous account of the spiritual awakening he experienced when, in 1869, he first encountered the mountains and valleys of central California. The natural history classic The Mountains of California draws on half a lifetime of exploration of the High Sierra country to celebrate and evoke the region’s lakes, forests, flowers, and animals, its glaciers, storms, floods, and geological formations. And Stickeen, Muir’s most popular book, is the affectionate story of his adventure with a dog in Alaska. Rounding out the volume is a rich selection of essays highlighting various aspects of his career: his exploration of the Grand Canyon and of what became Yosemite and Yellowstone national parks, his successful crusades to preserve the wilderness, his early walking tour to Florida, and the Alaska journey of 1879.