These introductory to her father's novel was written by his daughter, Susan Fenimore Cooper: "On the 25th of August, 1820, it was published by Mr. A. T. Goodrich, of New York, under the title of Precaution; or, Prevention is Better than Cure. The original publications of a New York house of that day were, of course, very few in number. The book attracted a degree of attention. Its literary merits were considered respectable, though not in the least brilliant. The characters were declared natural, and the moral tone was pronounced excellent. Quite as a matter of course, it was supposed, at first, to have been written in England, and by a woman. The publisher, however, declared that it was an American work, and written by a gentleman of New York. Surprise was expressed, and a degree of curiosity excited in society; but most of those who read the book continued quite incredulous. And when, at length, the name of Mr. Cooper began to be whispered in connection with the tale, incredulity rather increased -- the very suggestion was considered a piece of pleasantry. What American naval officer, it was asked, would be likely to write a book so English, and so womanly in tone and execution? In the sense of an elaborate imitation, at least, Precaution may be said to have been thoroughly successful. For a long time it was attributed to an English lady, a near connection of Mr. Cooper's."James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) was an American novelist, travel writer, and social critic, regarded as the first great American writer of fiction. He was famed for his action-packed plots and his vivid, if somewhat idealized, portrayal of American life in the forest and at sea.
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