Title Details

Pages: 376

Illustrations: 1 b&w illus.

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 07/01/1998

ISBN: 9-780-8203-2000-7

List Price: $32.95

Related Subjects

NATURE / Essays

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  • Description
  • Reviews

Rural Hours (1850) is one of the earliest pieces of American nature writing and the first by a woman. This new edition, the only printing of the full original text since 1876, restores passages excised by the author for an 1887 edition.

The daughter of the novelist James Fenimore Cooper, Susan Fenimore Cooper (1813-1894), uses narratives and descriptions of her walks and excursions to reveal her ideal society as a rural one, carefully poised between the receding wilderness and a looming industrialization. She theorizes that knowledge of place causes people to approach the land humbly and gratefully and asserts the necessity of establishing a society that is sustainable in the natural world and that sees a moral obligation to deepen knowledge of the natural history of the environment.

An engagingly, astutely, sensitively, and eloquently written work by the first really significant American woman nature writer.

—Lawrence Buell, Harvard University

Rural Hours should interest students of American geography, history, and literature as an important early work of nature writing. It is a significant literary achievement by a woman who has too long languished in the shadow of her famous father.

—Louise Westling

About the Author/Editor

Susan Fenimore Cooper (Author)
SUSAN FENIMORE COOPER (1813–1894) was a pioneering American nature writer, as well as an accomplished illustrator of nature. In addition to having her own literary pursuits, she was instrumental to the career of James Fenimore Cooper. As one of his children, she was his trusted literary assistant

Rochelle L. Johnson (Editor)
ROCHELLE L. JOHNSON is an associate professor of English and environmental studies at the College of Idaho and immediate past president of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE). She is the coeditor, with Daniel Patterson, of two volumes of Susan Fenimore Cooper's writings, Rural Hours and Essays on Nature and Landscape, as well as a collection of scholarly essays, Susan Fenimore Cooper: New Essays on Rural Hours and Other Works (all Georgia).

Daniel Patterson (Editor)
DANIEL PATTERSON is a professor of English at Central Michigan University and the author of Early American Nature Writers: A Biographical Encyclopedia.