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The Pathfinder

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Published in 1840, this is the fourth novel in Cooper's "Leatherstocking Tales". Other titles in the series: The Pioneers (1823), The Last of the Mohicans (1826), The Prairie (1827), and The Deerslayer (1841).



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Sent on a secret mission to a British fortress hidden among Ontario, Canada's Thousand Islands, the Pathfinder, a.k.a. Hawkeye, Deerslayer, Natty Bumppo, has to protect the lovely Mabel Dunham, fight indians, and root out a devious traitor. Cooper, who is always at his best in describing the wilderness, includes many details that bring the frontier to life. Pathfinder and his band have to survive a storm on the lake, battle Iroquois in the middle of the Oswego River, and--in the book's most thrilling part--navigate over a waterfall in a birch-bark canoe. A subplot of the book is a love triangle made up of Pathfinder, Mabel and a daring lake captain named Jasper Western. Mabel's father wants her to marry Pathfinder, while she is attracted to the younger, more handsome Wesern. The Pathfinder is a sequel to Cooper's Last of the Mohicans, and as a sequel it repeats many of the same set pieces from the earlier novel: guiding a woman through wilderness danger, treachery, the prowess of Chingachgook, and the constant threat of Indian attack, to name a few.--Submitted by James Dittes

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