This is one of the lesser-known, and more unusual, novels by James Fenimore Cooper, in that it is not set in the American frontier, but in Italy. The eleventh of his novels, it principally features the religious society in Venice, with Carmelite friars and other clerical characters, the author stating in a preface that he aims to introduce his countrymen to the social system of 'one of the soi-disant republics of the other hemisphere'.
James Fenimore Cooper (1789–1851) was a prolific American writer of the first half of the 19th century. Many of his novels depict early American frontier life, creating a unique form of American literature. Having served in the U.S. Navy as a midshipman, he also wrote numerous sea stories. His first novel was "The Spy" (1821), a tale about counter-espionage set during the American Revolutionary War and his best-known works are 5 historical novels of the frontier period known as the Leatherstocking Tales. Among his most famous works is the Romantic novel "The Last of the Mohicans" (1826), often regarded as his masterpiece.
Our copy is sadly age-worn, its marbled half-leather covers largely worn away, and the leather missing in places. The spine is also missing. The binding is only just holding the covers together. The body of the book, however, remains firmly bound with no loose pages. A previous owner's name is on the front fep. There is considerable foxing throughout - a clean page is somewhat of a rarity. However, as one of the lesser-known novels by this important American author, it has value as a collectable item. Published in the same year as the first edition.