Taking place just a few years after the Louisiana Purchase, The Prairie follows Ishmael and Esther Bush as they travel west from the Mississippi River with their fourteen children, Ellen Wade, a doctor, and Esther's brother. While searching for a place to camp, the group meets Natty Bumppo, a legendary man now in his late eighties. Referred to as "the trapper" Natty helps the family settle somewhere safe. Later, as he roams through the forest, he stumbles upon Ellen, Esther Bush's niece, in a secret rendezvous with her lover. Though Ishmael intends to marry Ellen to his oldest son, Ellen has fallen in love with Paul Hover, a wandering beehunter. Before she can explain, the three are kidnapped by the Sioux Native American tribe. Though they manage to pull off a narrow escape, the capture is only the beginning of Natty and the Bush's problems. After their camp is raided and their horses are stolen, the Bush's are left stranded. Always willing to help those in need, Natty guides the group to a naturally fortified hill. As they settle, one of Natty's old acquaintances arrive with shocking news. Struggling to survive kidnappings, torture, murder, fires, and betrayal, the Bush's and Natty fight to protect their loved ones and make the prairie their home.
With scandalous love affairs, thrilling near death experiences, and shocking betrayals, The Prairie depicts an enthralling journey of early Americans. As the last installment of James Fenimore Cooper's esteemed series, Leatherstocking Tales, The Prairie depicts its courageous and kind protagonist, Natty Bumppo, as he experiences the final years of his life. Matching the exciting adventures previously depicted in the series, The Prairie bids farewell to Natty Bumppo paying homage to his past while indulging in the emotional journey of an aging man. With the portrayal of memorable characters and a vivid, undomesticated setting, Cooper's novel examines how civilization changes nature, and the cruel damage humankind inflict on each other.
This edition of James Fenimore Cooper's The Prairie features a striking new cover design and is reprinted in a readable and appealing font, encouraging modern readers to experience the emotional and vivid portrayal of the pioneers living in a young, developing nation.