THERE is so much of mystification resorted to, at the present time, in the publication of books, that it has become proper that the editor of Elinor Wyllys should explain what has been his own connection with this particular work.
The writer of this book is a valued female friend, who had a right to ask, and did ask, its editor’s advice and assistance, in presenting it to the public. This advice and assistance have been cheerfully afforded, though neither has properly extended to the literary character of the work. As the author has not wished to appear, the name of the editor has been used in obtaining the copy-right, and his assistance given in forwarding and returning proof-sheets. Over a few of the last, the editor has cast an eye; but, believing the author of the book to be fully competent herself, to superintend her own work, as it has gone through the press, this supervision on the part of the editor has been very slight.
The editor has great confidence in the principles, taste, and intelligence of the real author of Elinor Wyllys. She has seen much of that portion of the world with which a lady becomes acquainted, and has seen that much under the most favorable circumstances. As usually happens in such cases, her book will be found free from exaggerations of every sort; and will be more likely to be well received by persons of her own class, than by those who are less familiar with its advantages. Imagination, feeling, sound principles, and good taste, are all to be found in this book, though in what degree, the public will necessarily decide for itself.
J. FENIMORE COOPER.
Philadelphia, Oct. 8, 1845.