The Deerslayer is the first of James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales, and it introduces Natty Bumppo, the Deerslayer of the title, and the Mohican Chief Chingachgook.
The action takes place in upstate New York during the French and Indian wars of the 1740s. The young frontiersman Natty Bumppo and his friend Hurry Harry go to the rescue of the trapper Thomas Hutter and his daughters, whose floating fort on Lake Glimmerglass is under attack by the Iriquois.
The plot twists and turns, and the exciting action and the romantic interest of this historical adventure have made it a firm favourite with generations of readers. Cooper’s evocation of the simple values of frontier life, combined with his mastery of the straightforward adventure story established him in the forefront of American writers.
The other Leatherstocking Tales in chronological order, though not in order of composition, are The Last of the Mohicans (also published as a Wordsworth Classic), The Pathfinder, The Pioneers and The Prairie.
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