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Cooper, James Fenimore (1789-1851)

James Cooper, 1789-1851. James Cooper, 1789-1851. Photograph by Mathew Brady, 1850.

James Fenimore Cooper was a prolific American author, most famous for his novel The Last of the Mohicans, which was published in 1826. In his Autobiography of a Pocket Handkerchief, which is a short novel first written for a magazine in 1843, he follows the life of a decorative linen handkerchief.

By using this piece of cloth as the main character of his novel, Cooper could satirically criticise both French and American economic life. It is believed to be the first time in English-language literature that a writer made an object, in this case a handkerchief, the main ‘point of view’ character.

Source: HEMMINGS, Jessica (ed., 2012). The Textile Reader, London: Berg, p. 99.

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 15th June 2016).

SA

Last modified on Tuesday, 02 May 2017 16:11