Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cooper's Prairie


‘January 28 [1828].—I am in the scrape of sitting for my picture, and had to repair for two hours to-day to Mr. Colvin Smith—Lord Gillies's nephew. The Chief Baron had the kindness to sit with me great part of the time, as the Chief Commissioner had done on a late occasion. The picture is for the Chief Commissioner, and the Chief Baron desires a copy. I trust it will he a good one. At home in the evening, and wrote. I am well on before the press, notwithstanding late hours, lassitude, and laziness. I have read Cooper's Prairie—better, I think, than his Red Rover, in which you never get foot on shore, and to understand entirely the incidents of the story it requires too much knowledge of nautical language. It's very clever, though.

“The Prairie” was Scott’s friend James Fenimore Cooper’s third novel, published in 1827, which Scott certainly enjoyed more than “The Red Rover”, which was published early in 1828.  Scott read "The Red Rover" two weeks earlier.  The text above comes from Scott's journal.

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