Memorial of James Fenimore Cooper
Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.
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This modern reprint is a facsimile of the 1852 edition stereotyped by Billin & Brothers.
Soon after working on Cooper's "The Two Admirals," the Billins also manufactured the printing plates for "Memorial of James Fenimore Cooper", a volume of speeches and letters presented at a posthumous celebration of his career. The event involved a remarkable constellation of American writers and orators, including Daniel Webster, Washington Irving, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The engraved portrait used on the cover of "Memorial" was made from a daguerreotype by Matthew Brady, a Manhattan photographer who would claim his greatest fame a decade later with his Civil War battlefield photographs. "Memorial" is part of a literary mystery: the publisher’s advertisements in the back pages announced a forthcoming novel by Cooper’s daughter, Susan, who was also a writer. The book, titled "The Shield", was never published, and the manuscript has never come to light. The book has been referred to as Susan Fenimore Cooper’s “ghost” novel, and "Memorial" provides one of just a handful of clues that "Shield" ever existed.