The Water-Witch

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A story of smuggling in the New York/New Jersey area, set around 1711

From the Author : "It was a bold attempt to lay the scene of a work like this on the coast of America. We have had our Buccaneers on the water, and our Witches on the land, but we believe this is the first occasion on which the rule has been reversed." "The facts of this country are all so recent, and so familiar, that every innovation on them, by means of the imagination, is coldly received, if not absolutely frowned upon.

Perhaps it would have been safer to have written a work of this character without a reference to any particular locality. The few local allusions that were introduced are not essential to the plot, and might have been dispensed with without lessening the interest of the tale." "This is probably the most imaginative book every written by the author. Its fault is in blending too much of the real with the purely ideal." "This book, originally written in Italy, and first printed (in English) in Germany. To the last circumstance probably owes the great number of typographical errors that are to be found in it.

The American compositor, however, quite likely conceiving that he had a right to correct the blunders of a foreigner, has taken the law into his own hands, and exercised a sovereign power over our labors. That our good old-fashioned mode of spelling should receive the modern improvements was, perhaps, unavoidable; but surely, we never spelt "coamings" (of a hatch), "combings;" "rul-lock," "oar-lock" or "row-lock;" or made many other similar "longshore" blunders that are to be found in original edition of this book." " Care has been taken to do ourselves justice in these particulars, and we think that this book is more improved, in these respects than any other work that has passed through our hands."

  • Author: James Fenimore Cooper
  • Title: The Water-Witch: Or the Skimmer of the Seas
  • First Published by: Putnam
  • First Published Date: 1830

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