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Homeward Bound or, the Chase   By: (1789-1851)

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Homeward Bound or, the Chase, penned by James Fenimore Cooper, is a thrilling tale of adventure and survival on the high seas. Set in the early 19th century, the story follows the journey of a group of American travelers aboard the ship "Montauk" as they encounter various challenges and dangers on their way home.

Cooper's vivid and descriptive writing style transports readers to the expansive waters of the Atlantic Ocean. From the bustling port cities to the vast open sea, every location is intricately detailed, allowing the reader to feel immersed in the story. The author's ability to paint vivid pictures with words adds depth and richness to the narrative.

The characters in the novel are meticulously crafted, each with their distinct personalities and motivations. Captain Cornelius Hardinge, the experienced and determined leader of the ship, commands respect and admiration. His relentless pursuit of their destination ensures an atmosphere of tension and excitement throughout the book. Additionally, the other cast members, such as the intelligent and resourceful Lieutenant Richard Barnstable and the spirited heroine Kate Plowden, add further complexity to the narrative, making it a character-driven story.

Moreover, what sets Homeward Bound apart is its exploration of themes such as loyalty, courage, and the relentless pursuit of one's goals. Cooper delves into the inner conflicts faced by the characters, their desires for personal freedom, and the choices they must make to achieve their objectives. The moral dilemmas they grapple with serve as thought-provoking moments within the story, elevating it beyond a mere adventure tale.

Throughout the book, the plot maintains a steady pace, keeping readers engaged. The constant presence of danger, including encounters with pirates, storms, and treacherous individuals, ensures an adrenaline-filled journey for both the characters and readers alike. Cooper's ability to build suspense and tension is a testament to his skill as a storyteller.

While the book generally impresses with its compelling narrative and engaging characters, there are occasional instances where the pacing slows down, affecting the overall momentum of the story. However, this minor flaw does not detract significantly from the overall enjoyment of the novel.

In conclusion, Homeward Bound or, the Chase is a captivating maritime adventure that transports readers to the vast and perilous world of the high seas. Cooper's eloquent prose, well-developed characters, and exploration of compelling themes make it a worthy addition to any reader's collection. Whether you are a fan of historical fiction or simply seeking an enthralling tale of adventure, this book is bound to keep you eagerly turning the pages.

First Page:

Homeward Bound; or, The Chase.

A Tale of the Sea.

By J. Fenimore Cooper.

"Is 't not strange, Canidius. That from Tarentum and Brundusium He could so quickly cut the Ionian Sea, and take in Toryne." SHAKSPEARE.

Complete in One Volume.

New Edition.

NEW YORK: Published by Hurd and Houghton, Cambridge: Riverside Press. 1871

Homeward Bound.


In one respect, this book is a parallel to Franklin's well known apologue of the hatter and his sign. It was commenced with a sole view to exhibit the present state of society in the United States, through the agency, in part, of a set of characters with different peculiarities, who had freshly arrived from Europe, and to whom the distinctive features of the country would be apt to present themselves with greater force, than to those who had never lived beyond the influence of the things portrayed. By the original plan, the work was to open at the threshold of the country, or with the arrival of the travellers at Sandy Hook, from which point the tale was to have been carried regularly forward to its conclusion. But a consultation with others has left little more of this plan than the hatter's friends left of his sign. As a vessel was introduced in the first chapter, the cry was for "more ship," until the work has become "all ship;" it actually closing at, or near, the spot where it was originally intended it should commence... Continue reading book >>

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