Vigorous, self-reliant, amazingly resourceful, and moral, Natty Bumppo is the prototype of the Western hero. A faultless arbiter of wilderness justice, he hates middle-class hypocrisy. But he finds his love divided between the woman he has pledged to protect on a treacherous journey and the untouched forest that sustains him in his beliefs. A fast-paced narrative full of adventure and majestic descriptions of early frontier life, Indian raiders, and defenceless outposts, The Pathfinder set the standard for epic action literature.
In his introduction to this edition, John Stauffer discusses the themes of interracial friendship, the religion of nature and the blurred lines between fiction and history.