[in the original boards] A Narrative of 1757. By the Author of "The Spy," "The Pilot," "The Pioneers," &c. &c. In Three Volumes. London: John Miller, 1826. Original drab paper-covered boards with (early but not original) brown paper spines and printed labels.
First English Edition, published in three volumes just two months after the two-volume Philadelphia edition. This is the novel for which Cooper is best known today: THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS was the second-published of the five "Leather-Stocking Tales," (the series name derived from the nickname of the hero, Natty Bumppo, so-called because of his long deerskin leggings). The first of the five to be published had been THE PIONEERS, in 1823; however, their sequence in terms of plot is THE DEERSLAYER, THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS, THE PATHFINDER, THE PIONEERS and THE PRAIRIE. The hero, known by the name "Hawk-eye" in this novel, "is shown as a young man approaching the zenith of his skill as a wilderness hunter and scout during the French and Indian Wars. In this best known novel of the saga, Natty as Hawk-eye develops into the epic hero of American literature." [UVa]
These volumes, remarkably, are still uncut in their original paper-covered boards (which were meant to be temporary); at some point (apparently long ago) the spines and labels were aptly restored, as is typically necessary for such fragile bindings. Otherwise the volumes show only minor edge-wear. The first and third volumes are lacking the front free endpaper; the half-title is present only in the second and third volumes, because none was originally provided for the first volume. The leaves still have their original uncut edges, and are unusually free of foxing for paper approaching its 200th year. At the top of each front cover and on the front paste-down of Vol. I is the signature of [Baron] Charles de Nagell (Peerage # 335169), probably the initial owner. See Blanck 3833 (saying that the American edition came out in January and the English in March, noting their sources); UVa (Barrett) 6 (this English edition is noted but is not listed in detail, though the American and French editions are; UVa says that the English edition came out six months after the American edition, but without noting reasons for that statement); Spiller & Blackburn p. 44. Item #12642