Trim size: 152.400mm x 228.600mm
Pub Date: 07/01/1998
List Price: $30.95
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.