James Fenimore Cooper was a prolific and popular American writer of the first half of the 19th century. His historical romances of frontier and Indian life in the early American days created a unique form of American literature. Precaution is the first novel written by Cooper written in imitation of Jane Austen’s novels of English gentry manners. It is mainly interesting today as a document in the history of American cultural colonialism and as an example of an attempt to imitate Jane Austen’s investigation of the ironic discrepancy between illusion and reality.
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