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The Headsman Paperback – Large Print, November 1, 2006

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Paperback, Large Print, November 1, 2006
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About the Author

First renowned American novelist. Cooper also earned repute as a social critic and travel writer. His works are notable for their action-filled stories and vibrant portrayal of American life. He also penned several historical and travel pieces.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Read How You Want (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1425032613
  • ISBN-13: 978-1425032616
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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By T. Patrick Killough on April 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
As thematically varied and rich a work of fiction as I have ever read is James Fenimore Cooper's novel of 1833, THE HEADSMAN, or, THE ABBAYE DES VIGNERONS. I have counted a dozen aspects of this masterpiece, each of which is worth its own review:

-- Introducing Europe to America

-- Romance

-- Obscure or Mistaken Identities

-- Landscape and storms. Travelogue

-- Murder mystery and courtroom trial

-- A Mystery of dating the year in which the story took place

-- Gothic fiction

-- Religion and mores

-- The politics of hereditary injustice

-- Passengers on a ship as miniature cosmos

-- Dog adventure tale

-- Revenge for hereditary injustice.

Let me begin and end this review with a few comments on merely the first element: Introducing Europe to Americans.

In 1826, James Fenimore Cooper published the book that made him world famous, THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. He left days later with wife and children for a stay in Europe that lasted until 1833. Nominally, he was the U.S. Consul in Lyon, a political post created for him by the Secretary of State and the President for his family's contributions to the Federalist Party. It required no work, not even his presence in the French city of Lyon. During his stay in England, France, Germany, Switerland and Italy, Cooper poured out books and letters: five travelogues, novels, political views. He met Sir Walter Scott and befriended Scott's French wife, who had been born in Lyon. In Paris Cooper became a close friend of George Washington's comrade in arms during the American revolution -- the Marquis de Lafayette.

Cooper found Europeans, even the English, remarkably ignorant of America.
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