The Prairie: A Tale
James Fenimore Cooper
The Prairie: A Tale (1827) is a novel by James Fenimore Cooper, the third novel written by him featuring Natty Bumppo. His fictitious frontier hero Bumppo is never called by his name, but is instead referred to as “the trapper” or “the old man.” Chronologically The Prairie is the fifth and final installment of the Leatherstocking Tales, though it was published before The Pathfinder (1840) and The Deerslayer (1841). It depicts Natty in the final year of his life still proving helpful to people in distress on the American frontier. The book frequently references characters and events from the two books previously published in the Leatherstocking Tales as well as the two which Cooper wouldn’t write for more than ten years. Continuity with The Last of the Mohicans is indicated by the appearance of the grandson of Duncan and Alice Heyward, as well as the noble Pawnee chief Hard Heart, whose name is English for the French nickname for the Delaware, le Coeur-dur.