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Autobiography of a Pocket-Handkerchief   By: (1789-1851)

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Autobiography of a Pocket-Handkerchief is an enchanting tale that breathes life into the seemingly mundane world of a handkerchief. Written by the renowned American author James Fenimore Cooper, this unique piece of literature explores the journey of an inanimate object as it navigates through the hands of various individuals.

Cooper's storytelling skills shine through as he weaves a compelling narrative, delving into the intimate details of the handkerchief's life. From its creation in a Parisian factory to its final destination, the pocket of a gentleman, the story offers a fresh and intriguing perspective on the interconnectedness of people and objects.

Centered on the handkerchief's transformation from a simple piece of fabric to a vessel of emotions, the book eloquently captures the essence of human experiences. Through the author's masterful voice, we witness the handkerchief witnessing tears of joy, sadness, and even despair. Cooper's ability to infuse emotions into this inanimate character is truly remarkable.

Moreover, Autobiography of a Pocket-Handkerchief explores themes of love, loss, and redemption. As the handkerchief passes from person to person, it becomes a silent witness to the passionate affairs, heartbreaks, and personal tragedies that unfold before it. These stories serve as a powerful reminder of the fragility of human relationships and the profound impact they can have on our lives.

Cooper's prose is elegant and evocative, transporting readers to pre-Revolutionary France and immersing them in a world that is both familiar and foreign. The attention to detail in describing the fashion, customs, and social dynamics of the era adds depth to the narrative, making it a captivating read for history enthusiasts.

Although Autobiography of a Pocket-Handkerchief might not be as widely known as Cooper's other works, such as the Leatherstocking Tales, its literary merit is undeniable. It offers a unique perspective on the world, challenges traditional notions of storytelling, and invites readers to reflect on the interconnectedness of objects and human experiences.

In conclusion, James Fenimore Cooper's Autobiography of a Pocket-Handkerchief is a beautifully crafted tale that captivates readers with its unusual central character and its exploration of humanity's joys and sorrows. This literary gem is a testament to the author's talent and deserves a place among the classics of American literature.

First Page:



James Fenimore Cooper


Certain moral philosophers, with a due disdain of the flimsy foundations of human pride, have shown that every man is equally descended from a million of ancestors, within a given number of generations; thereby demonstrating that no prince exists who does not participate in the blood of some beggar, or any beggar who does not share in the blood of princes. Although favored by a strictly vegetable descent myself, the laws of nature have not permitted me to escape from the influence of this common rule. The earliest accounts I possess of my progenitors represent them as a goodly growth of the Linum Usitatissimum, divided into a thousand cotemporaneous plants, singularly well conditioned, and remarkable for an equality that renders the production valuable. In this particular, then, I may be said to enjoy a precedency over the Bourbons, themselves, who now govern no less than four different states of Europe, and who have sat on thrones these thousand years.

{Linum Usitatissimum = Linum usitatissimum (Cooper's capitalization varies) is the botanical name for the variety of flax from which linen is made}

While our family has followed the general human law in the matter just mentioned, it forms a marked exception to the rule that so absolutely controls all of white blood, on this continent, in what relates to immigration and territorial origin... Continue reading book >>

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