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The Bravo   By: (1789-1851)

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In "The Bravo" by James Fenimore Cooper, the reader is transported to the romantic and vibrant city of Venice during the 18th century. Set against the backdrop of political turmoil and the city's fading grandeur, the novel follows the story of a mysterious figure known as the Bravo.

Cooper's writing style immerses the reader in the Venetian atmosphere, capturing the picturesque canals, elegant palaces, and intricate alleyways. His vivid descriptions bring the city to life, making it a compelling character in its own right. From the vibrant masquerade balls to the clandestine meetings in dimly lit corners, the author excels at creating a sense of mystery and intrigue.

The Bravo himself is an enigmatic character, shrouded in rumors and superstitions. Outwardly, he is a gondolier with great physical strength and a charming demeanor, yet underneath the surface lies a complex and multi-dimensional individual. Cooper skillfully crafts the Bravo's story, revealing the layers of his past and the motivations that drive him. Through this character, the author explores themes of honor, identity, and the struggle for justice.

One of the notable aspects of "The Bravo" is Cooper's meticulous research and historical accuracy. The political setting of Venice during the time of the Doge is brought to life, allowing the reader to delve into the intricacies of the city-state's governance and societal divisions. Additionally, the author touches on the tension between Church and State, as well as the conflicts between the ruling class and the common people.

However, while the novel has its strengths, it is not without flaws. At times, the pacing feels uneven, with certain sections dragging on while others rush by. The large cast of characters can also be overwhelming, making it challenging to keep track of everyone's motives and allegiances. Additionally, the romantic subplot could have been developed further, as it feels somewhat overshadowed by the political intrigue at play.

Despite these minor shortcomings, "The Bravo" is nonetheless an engaging novel that provides a glimpse into the intricate society of Venice during a fascinating period of history. Cooper's masterful storytelling and descriptive prose make it an enjoyable read for those who are drawn to immersive historical fiction. With its compelling narrative and richly drawn characters, "The Bravo" is a worthy addition to James Fenimore Cooper's body of work.

First Page:




"Giustizia in palazzo, e pane in piazza."



It is to be regretted the world does not discriminate more justly in its use of political terms. Governments are usually called either monarchies or republics. The former class embraces equally those institutions in which the sovereign is worshipped as a god, and those in which he performs the humble office of a manikin. In the latter we find aristocracies and democracies blended in the same generic appellation. The consequence of a generalization so wide is an utter confusion on the subject of the polity of states.

The author has endeavored to give his countrymen, in this book, a picture of the social system of one of the soi disant republics of the other hemisphere. There has been no attempt to portray historical characters, only too fictitious in their graver dress, but simply to set forth the familiar operations of Venetian policy. For the justification of his likeness, after allowing for the defects of execution, he refers to the well known work of M. Daru.

A history of the progress of political liberty, written purely in the interests of humanity, is still a desideratum in literature. In nations which have made a false commencement, it would be found that the citizen, or rather the subject, has extorted immunity after immunity, as his growing intelligence and importance have both instructed and required him to defend those particular rights which were necessary to his well being... Continue reading book >>

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