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The spy : A tale of the neutral ground

Penguin classics

by Cooper James Fenimore


The Spy was written in 1821 to preserve both the memory and meaning of the American Revolution. Inspired by accusations of venality levelled at the men who captured Major Andre (Benedict Arnold's co-conspirator, executed for espionage in 1780), Cooper's novel centres on Harry Birch, a common man wrongly suspected by well-born Patriots of being a spy for the British. Even George Washington offers him payment for information vital to the Patriots' cause, Birch scorns the money and asserts that his actions were motivated not by financial reward, but by his devotion to the fight for independence. A historical adventure tale reminiscent of Sir Walter Scott's Waverley novels, The Spy is also a parable of the American experience, a reminder that the nation's survival, like its Revolution, depends on judging people by their actions, not their class or reputations.

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Book Information

Copyright year 1997
ISBN-13 9780140436280
ISBN-10 0140436286
Class Copyright
Publisher Penguin Books
File Size 0 MB
Number of Pages 412
Shelf No. FS912
Grade Range 12 - 12
Ages 18 - 99