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Annotated Reference Guide to Collectible Books

Cooper, James

James Fenimore Cooper is one of the most celebrated authors in the American canon. Cooper’s oevre spans genres, taking influence from his time in the Navy, his appreciation for his natural surroundings, and his Episcopalian upbringing. His keen interest in history—both military and human, his fascination with myth and storytelling, and his closeness to nature uniquely placed him to ask complicated questions about what it means to be civilized, to be powerful, to be American during the first 50 years of the country’s independence. He wrestled with these issues, and resolved some of them, in his prolific writing.

Cooper’s most famous work, The Last of the Mohicans, is also considered his masterpiece. First editions, published in 1826 by H.C. Carey and I. Lea in Philadelphia and by John Miller in London that same year, are quite valuable. They sell beginning around $700 and can skyrocket to tens of thousands of dollars. The vast fluctuation in price depends on whether the book was the American or British first edition (the American is generally more valuable), the condition of the book, and whether it is signed or otherwise unusual.

The Last of the Mohicans is actually the second book of Cooper’s Leatherstocking series. Other books in the series include The Pioneer (James Wiley: New York, 1823), The Prairie (Carey, Lea, and Chestnut: Philadelphia, 1828), The Pathfinder (Lea and Blanchard: Philadelphia, 1840), and The Deerslayer (Lea and Blanchard: Philadelphia, 1941). Individual copies of these books’ first editions can be difficult to find but are frequently inexpensive, selling for as little as $100. Full sets of first editions of all five books are, by contrast, very valuable and can be valued as highly as $10,000.

Cooper, James Fenimore. The Spy. Wiley and Halsted (1822). Second Edition In Three Volumes

Cooper, James Fenimore. The Pilot: A Tale of the Sea. Charles Wiley (1823). Two Volumes

Cooper, James Fenimore. The Pioneers, or the Sources of the Susquehanna. John Murray (1823). Three Volumes

Cooper, James Fenimore. Lionel Lincoln or The League of Boston. Charles Wiley (1825). Two Volumes

Cooper, James Fenimore. The Last of the Mohicans. John Miller (1826). Three Volumes; First Uk Edition

Cooper, James Fenimore. The Last of the Mohicans. H. C. Carey and I. Lea, Philadelphia (1826). Second Edition, In Two Volumes; A Narrative Of 1757; In Vol. I The Pagination Is Present On Page 71, Page 89 Is Misnumbered 93, On Page 243 Chapter Xvi Is Misnumbered Xiv, And On Page Vii The Final I Is Present; In Vol. Ii The Fifth Line Of The Copyright Page Reads A Book.

Cooper, James Fenimore. The Last of the Mohicans. John Miller (1826). Three Volumes; A Narrative Of 1757; Volume Ii Line 5 Of Copyright States A Book Also 3 End Blanks Are Missing.

Cooper, James Fenimore. The Prairie. Carey, Lea and Carey, Philadelphia (1827). First Us Edition.

Cooper, James Fenimore. The Water Witch or the Skimmer of the Seas. H. Colburn and R. Bentley (1830). Three Volumes; First Uk Edition

Cooper, James Fenimore. The Bravo. H. Colburn and R. Bentley (1831). Three Volumes

Cooper, James Fenimore. The Bravo. Carey and Lea, Philadelphia (1831). Two Volumes; First English Edition

Cooper, James Fenimore. The Water-Witch. Carey and Lea, Philadelphia (1831). Two Volumes In One; Or The Skimmer Of The Seas; First Us Edition

Cooper, James Fenimore. The Heidenmauer or the Benedictines. Carey and Lea, Philadelphia (1832). Two Volumes In One; First Us Edition.

Cooper, James Fenimore. The Headsman or The Abbaye Des Vignerons. Richard Bentley (1833). Three Volumes;

Cooper, James Fenimore. The Monikins. Carey, Lea and Blanchard, Philadelphia (1835). Two Volumes In One

Cooper, James Fenimore. The Headsman or the Abbaye Des Vignerons. Carey, Lea and Blanchard, Philadelphia (1836). Two Volumes; Special Preface Written By Cooper; First Single Volume And First Illustrated Edition.

Cooper, James Fenimore. Home As Found. Lea and Blanchard, Philadelphia (1838). Two Volumes; First Printing Has Apology For Poor Quality Paper Opposite Title Page But Without The Catalog In Volume Two.

Cooper, James Fenimore. Homeward Bound or The Chase. Lea and Blanchard, Philadelphia (1838). Two Volumes;

Cooper, James Fenimore. History of the Navy of the United States of America. Richard Bentley (1839). First Edition Preceding The American Printing.

Cooper, James Fenimore. History of the Navy of the United States of America. Lea and Blanchard, Philadelphia (1839). Two Volumes; First American Edition

Cooper, James Fenimore. The Pathfinder or the Inland Sea. Richard Bentley (1840). Three Volumes; True First Edition Preceding The American Printing.

Cooper, James, Fenimore. The Deerslayer. Lea and Blanchard, Philadelphia (1841). First Issue Without Copyright Notice In The First Volume; Two Volumes Bound

Cooper, James Fenimore. The Deerslayer. Galignani (1841). Or, The First War-Path.

Cooper, James Fenimore. The Two Admirals. Lea and Blanchard, Philadelphia (1842). First American Edition, Preceded By The English Edition; Two Volumes

Cooper, James Fenimore. The Battle of Lake Erie. H. and E. Phinney, Cooperstown (1843). Or The Answers To Messers, Burges, Duer And Mackenzie

Cooper, James Fenimore. Pages and Pictures. W. A. Townsend (1861). From The Writings Of James Fenimore Cooper, With Notes By Susan Fenimore Cooper; 40 Steel Engravings, 7 Wood Engravings, And 120 Head And Tail-Piece Embellishments.

Cooper, James Fenimore. The Works. P. F. Collier (1891). 31 Novels Bound In 10 Volumes; The Works Of J. Fenimore Cooper; Sixty-Four Full-Page Wood Engravings.

Cooper, James Fenimore. The Last of the Mohicans. Charles Scribners Sons (1919). Illustrated By N. C. Wyeth; The Last Of The Mohicans: A Narrative Of 1757; 144 Color Plates

Cooper, James Fenimore. The Deerslayer. Charles Scribners Sons (1925). Illustrated By N. C. Wyeth; Color Frontispiece And 9 Color Plates.

Cooper, James Fenimore. The Prairie. Limited Editions Club, Menasha (1940). Signed By John Steuart Curry; 1500 Copies Designed By Will Ransom; Introduction By Harry Hansen. Illustrated With Drawings Including A Large Foldout Color Plate By Noted American Artist John Steuart Curry.