Interest in Cooper's social philosophy, in itself and in his novels, has been steadily growing during the past ten years. There are many excellent editions of his romances, but Satanstoe is the first of his novels of social purpose to be made readily available for study. Basically as much a romance as The Last of the Mohicans, it has the added values of giving an explicit statement of his matured social doctrine and of best illustrating his own theory of fiction as the agency of ideas.
The dual editorship of this volume is a recognition of the two related but discrete approaches to its study: the literary and the social. Section III of the Introduction, written by Mr. Coppock, is addressed primarily to those interested in its contribution to the history of American economic and political thought; the remaining sections seek to place it in relation to Cooper's artistic development and to American literary history.
R. E. S.