The spy : a tale of the neutral ground /
James Fenimore Cooper ; historical introduction by James P. Elliott ; explanatory notes by James H. Pickering ; text established by James P. Elliott, Lance Schachterle, and Jeffrey Walker.
New York : AMS Press, 2002.
xxxv, 551 p.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1998-06-15:
Written in 1821, this historical novel is Cooper's paean to the Revolutionary War, as protagonist Harry Birch finds himself wrongly accused of selling vital information to the British. The book incorporates several real characters, including George Washington.
Appeared in Choice on 2002-10-01:
Cooper's unfairly neglected, first serious novel (1821), presented here in new, corrected text, annotated, and replete with prefatory material, should interest readers with varied tastes. Set in the Revolutionary War period, The Spy is concerned, on one level, with the conflicts and struggles between American colonists wishing to forgo allegiance to the British Crown and colonists wishing to remain loyal to the King. On another level, the novel presents the great game aspect of this battle for independence: basics such as loyalty (to whichever side), morality, duty, courage, and outward appearance became acutely problematical. Cooper's "neutral ground" is West Chester County, "the nearest adjoining to the City" and County of New York (i.e., the island of Manhattan). On this ground both opposing factions were active during the Revolutionary War. A great proportion of the people "affected a neutrality they did not feel," and many simply masked their true feelings. For fans of spy fiction and historical fiction, Cooper's novel provides strategic disguises and a fascinating secret agent. For appreciators of good writing, it offers eloquence and elegance of style to serve as a reminder of what is today a lost art. And all academic users will appreciate this updated, scholarly edition. S. I. Bellman emeritus, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, August 2002
Choice, October 2002
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Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Historical Introductionp. xiii
To James Aitchison [1821]p. 1
Preface [1821]p. 2
Preface to the Second Edition [1822]p. 6
To James Aitchison [1822]p. 8
Preface to the Third Edition [1822]p. 9
Introduction [1831]p. 12
Introduction [1849]p. 17
The Spyp. 22
Explanatory Notesp. 425
Textual Commentaryp. 435
Textual Notesp. 458
Emendationsp. 460
Rejected Readingsp. 546
Word-Divisionp. 550
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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