The Deerslayer, first of the "Leatherstocking Tales" chronologically but last in the order of publication, is succinctly analyzed by one critic, James Grossman, as "the simplest in plot and most equivocal in meaning." In The Deerslayer, Cooper showed himself at the height of his creative powers during this period of 1840–1841 when he could continue to combine a moving story and an impressive character with a deepened social and moral awareness after a prolonged European sojourn.The structural unity in The Deerslayer, already mentioned briefly in the critical introduction, gives to the romance the verisimilitude that is sometimes lacking in works of his earlier period. It is easy to accept the premise that these few adventurous days on the lake could have happened. The characters are few and resemble possible frontier types. The problem of a small group being
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Leatherstocking Tales, Deerslayer, Otsego Lake, prolonged European sojourn, possible frontier types.