72 James Fenimore Cooper 1789-1851
The Water Witch, or The Skimmer of the Seas
Dresden, Printed for Walther, 1830
The first edition of The Water Witch, comprising only a few copies, was published in Dresden for Cooper's American and English publishers; only six copies of this edition, issued in three volumes, are recorded as having survived. This copy is from the library of Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland and King of Hanover, who was the fifth son of George III of England; also in the collection is a leaf from the original manuscript, a portion of chapter VI, bearing corrections in the author's hand. Cooper began The Water Witch, whose title is taken from the name of the brigantine in the tale and from its pirate captain, "The Skimmer of the Seas," in the autumn of 1829 while residing in Sorrento, and he finished it in Rome. Unable to publish the novel in Italy because of problems with the censors, Cooper first published it in Dresden, not later than September 18, 1830; publication in London followed on October 14 and in Philadelphia on December 11.
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