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Susan Fenimore Cooper’s reputation on the rise
COOPERSTOWN – This month’s edition of Audubon magazine features Susan Fenimore Cooper, whose “Rural Hours” (1850) were mentioned by Henry David Thoreau in his diaries prior to the publication of his famous “Walden” (1854).
Credited simply as “by a lady,” her “rural hours,” though praised by such giants to Charles Darwin, kept Susan from even approaching fame with her father, James Fenimore Cooper.
The article, written by University of Nevada professor Michael Branch, is titled “Meet Susan Fenimore Cooper, America’s First Recognized Female Nature Writer.” “
“We know Thoreau was familiar with Cooper’s work and while I don’t think anyone can prove it, it’s hard to imagine that he wasn’t influenced by his writing in some way or another. other, “Branch wrote. “It’s really solid natural science, exactly the kind of stuff he liked.”
Despite Cooper’s initial success with “Rural hours ” and her nine editions in her lifetime, she is little known today, Branch wrote. By posting anonymously, she “followed a tradition that female authors were modest and did not claim paternity,” College of Idaho professor Rochelle Johnson, who co-edited a 1998 edition of “Rural hours ” and now writing a biography of Cooper, he reportedly said.