James Fenimore Cooper: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism

James Fenimore Cooper: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism

James Fenimore Cooper: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism

James Fenimore Cooper: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism


Famed for his adventure novels of the American frontier and the sea, and also the author of social and political commentary, James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) received widely fluctuating contemporaneous and posthumous reviews, but is generally regarded as a pioneer in the development of the American social and political novel. In this annotated bibliography of 1,943 sources, the immense body of criticism has been channeled into chapters by broad subject category and subdivided, as appropriate, by the Cooper work in question and in terms of criticism in his lifetime and after. This organization, together with an introductory survey of his critical reception and full indexing, allows the researcher to trace the topics and themes that have occupied a who's who of critics from 1820 to the present.


The bibliography that follows is composed of 1943 reviews, journal articles, newspaper articles and editorials, dissertations, and books written between 1820 and 1990. While no pretense toward definitiveness is made, this compilation lists a majority of those sources available to the Cooper scholar.

Arrangement of the material into chapters is by broad subject category: Bibliography, Biography, General Studies, Frontier and Indian Novels, Literature of the Sea, Social and Political Writings, and Miscellaneous Publications. Each appropriate chapter is then subdivided into individual Cooper publications, with further divisions relating to material written before and after Cooper's death. Most of the fiction and non-fiction was easily placed under one of these broad chapter headings, although a few created problems. For instance, both The Crater and Homeward Bound are often listed with Cooper's sea fiction, but from a thematic point of view they seemed more closely tied to the social and political category and have been placed there.

Annotations are provided for most entries. While they are descriptive rather than critical in nature, references to other conflicting and supporting entries are often made. Those items that the compiler has not seen are so noted.

Although there was no concentrated effort to identify pertinent newspaper editorials and reviews, those that were discovered during the normal course of research have been included. in general, the newspaper name and date alone have been provided for nineteenth century citations. Page numbers are given only for the larger metropolitan dailies (e.g., New York Times, Times [London]).

Essays and reviews in foreign languages have been excluded, although occasional reference is made to the existence of European bibliographies dealing with Cooper.

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