narrative essay to create something almost like the perfected short story of Poe
; he wrote prose with unfailing charm in an age when charm was lacking; and, if he had no message, it should be remembered that some of the most useful ambassadors have had none save to reveal, with delicacy and tact and humorous kindness, the truth that foreign persons have feelings precisely like our own.
Readers of Sir Walter Scott
may remember his account of an evening party in Paris
in 1826 where he met Fenimore Cooper
, then in the height of his European
“So the Scotch and American lions took the field together,” wrote Sir Walter, who loved to be generous.
The last of the Mohicans
, then just published, threat.
ened to eclipse the fame of Ivanhoe
, born in 1789, was eighteen years younger than the Wizard of the North
, and was more deeply indebted to him than he knew.
For it was Scott
who had created the immense nineteenth century audience for prose fiction, and who had evolved a kind of formula for the novel, ready for Cooper
's use. Both men were natural story-tellers.
had the richer mind and the more fully developed historical imagination.
Both were out-of-doors