“An engaging, astutely, sensitively, and eloquently written work by the first really significant American woman nature writer”. — Lawrence Buell
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.
ROCHELLE L. JOHNSON is an assistant professor of English at Albertson College. 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 (both Georgia).
Pub Date: 07/01/1998
The University of Georgia Press
Cooperstown from Three Mile Point – ca. 1850 by Louis Remy Mignot