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The Water-Witch or, the Skimmer of the Seas   By: (1789-1851)

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The Water-Witch or, the Skimmer of the Seas by James Fenimore Cooper is an exciting and riveting tale of adventure on the high seas. Set in the 17th century, the story follows two main characters, one a mysterious sea captain known as the Skimmer and the other a brave colonial officer named Tom Tiller.

Cooper's vivid descriptions of the sea and the ships immerse the reader in this perilous world of seafaring. The attention to detail is remarkable, and it truly feels like being aboard the ships, feeling the spray of the ocean and hearing the creaking of the wooden planks beneath one's feet.

The plot is filled with unexpected twists and turns, keeping readers on the edge of their seats. From daring escapes to high-stakes battles between ships, every moment is infused with tension and excitement. The real highlight of the story, however, is the intricate web of mystery surrounding the Skimmer. As his true identity is slowly revealed, readers are drawn deeper into his enigmatic world, unable to put the book down until the final revelation.

Cooper's characters are well-developed and relatable, each with their own unique personalities and motivations. Tom Tiller, in particular, is a compelling protagonist who grows and matures throughout the novel. His determination and loyalty make him easy to root for, and his interactions with the Skimmer provide a fascinating dynamic that adds depth to the story.

One of the strengths of The Water-Witch is Cooper's ability to seamlessly blend history and fiction. The book provides an immersive glimpse into the colonial era, painting a vivid picture of the challenges and conflicts of the time. The attention to historical accuracy adds an additional layer of authenticity and enriches the reading experience.

While the prose can be dense at times, the story's pacing and gripping narrative make up for it. Cooper's detailed descriptions may not appeal to all readers, but they do a fantastic job of bringing the setting to life.

Overall, The Water-Witch or, the Skimmer of the Seas is a thrilling and atmospheric adventure that will captivate readers who enjoy tales of the sea, historical fiction, and intriguing mysteries. Cooper's masterful storytelling and well-crafted characters make this a must-read for fans of the genre.

First Page:

The Water Witch;


The Skimmer of the Seas.

A Tale.

By J. Fenimore Cooper.

"Mais, qui diable alloit il faire dans cette galère!"

Complete in One Volume


Water Witch.

Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1856, by Stringer and Townsend In the Clerk's office of the District Court for the southern district of New York.


Christendom is gradually extricating itself from the ignorance, ferocity, and crimes of the middle ages. It is no longer subject of boast, that the hand which wields the sword, never held a pen, and men have long since ceased to be ashamed of knowledge. The multiplied means of imparting principles and facts, and a more general diffusion of intelligence, have conduced to establish sounder ethics and juster practices, throughout the whole civilized world. Thus, he who admits the conviction, as hope declines with his years, that man deteriorates, is probably as far from the truth, as the visionary who sees the dawn of a golden age, in the commencement of the nineteenth century. That we have greatly improved on the opinions and practices of our ancestors, is quite as certain as that there will be occasion to meliorate the legacy of morals which we shall transmit to posterity.

When the progress of civilization compelled Europe to correct the violence and injustice which were so openly practised, until the art of printing became known, the other hemisphere made America the scene of those acts, which shame prevented her from exhibiting nearer home... Continue reading book >>

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