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Chapter 4: Lost in the Deep Forest

James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851).
The Last of the Mohicans; Adapted by Verne B. Brown and Edited by Gertrude Moderow. Illustrated by Brinton Turkle. Chicago: Scott, Foresman, [1950].
Call Number: (CCM)Hist. La-RR Scott 1950
Curriculum Collection, Golda Meir Library

Cover of The Last of the Mohicans

Despite Twain's criticism, The Last of the Mohicans has retained its status as a classic mainly as an adventure narrative. This Natty Bumppo tale, more than any other Cooper work, employed the Gothic devices of suspense, horror and constant action. Some early critics complained it was little more than an adventure tale, but this page-turner quality propelled it to instant popularity. Like other adventure narratives of the era, such as Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, it became over time, to be seen as a children's book although never intended for that audience. This transformation often involved extensive abridgement or "adaptation" from the original.

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Prepared by Christopher Barth, Virginia Haas, and Sarah McDaniel