THOMAS R. LOUNSBURY,
Professor Of English In The Sheffield Scientific School,
HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY.
New York: 11 East Seventeenth Street.
The Riverside Press, Cambridge.
When Cooper lay on his death-bed he enjoined his family to permit no authorized account of his life to be prepared. A wish even, that was uttered at such a time, would have had the weight of a command; and from that day to this pious affection has carried out in the spirit as well as to the letter the desire of the dying man. No biography of Cooper has, in consequence, ever appeared. Nor is it unjust to say that the sketches of his career, which are found either in magazines or cyclop\u00e6dias, are not only unsatisfactory on account of their incompleteness, but are all in greater or less degree untrustworthy in their details.
It is a necessary result of this dying injunction that the direct and authoritative sources of information
contained in family papers are closed to the biographer. Still it is believed that no facts of importance in the
record of an eventful and extraordinary career have been omitted or have even been passed over slightingly. A
large part of the matter contained in this volume has never been given to the public in any form: and for that
reason among others no pains have been spared to make this narrative absolutely accurate, so far as it goes.
Correction of any errors, if such are found, will be gratefully welcomed.
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