The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (190721).
VOLUME XV. Colonial and Revolutionary Literature; Early National Literature, Part I.
VI. Fiction I.
§ 20. Red Rover; The Wept of Wish-ton-Wish.
|In January, 1828, he repeated the success of The Pilot with another sea tale, The Red Rover which has always held a place among the most favoured of his books. The excitement is less sustained than in The Pilot, but portions of the narrative, notably those dealing with storms, are tremendous. The ocean here plays as great a part as Cooper had lately assigned to the prairie. One voices the calm of nature, one its tumult; both tend to the discipline of man. In I829 he fared better than with Lionel Lincoln in another historical tale of New England, The Wept of Wish-ton-Wish, an episode of King Philips War. It is a powerful novel, irregular and ungenial, not only because the Puritans represented were themselves unlovely, but because Cooper had an evident dislike for them which coloured all their qualities. This was followed in the next year by The Water-Witch, which Cooper thought his most imaginative book. It has a spirited naval battle, but it flatly failed to localize a supernatural legend in New York harbour.