The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XV. Colonial and Revolutionary Literature; Early National Literature, Part I.

VI. Fiction I.

§ 19. Residence in Europe.

Possibly the novel owes some of its depth of atmosphere to the fact that it was finished in France and that Cooper was thus looking back upon his subject through a mist of regret. He had sailed for Europe with his family in June, 1826, to begin a foreign residence of more than seven years which had a large effect upon his later life and work. He found his books well known and society at large disposed to make much of him. In Paris he fraternized with Scott, who enjoyed and praised his American rival. Parts of his stay were in England, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, which delighted and astonished him, and Italy, which he loved. Most of his time, however, he passed at Paris, charmed with a gayer and more brilliant society than he could have known before. He did not cease to write.   23