James Fenimore Cooper was a prolific and popular American writer of the first half of the 19th century. His historical romances of frontier and Indian life in the early American days created a unique form of American literature. The Bravo was inspired by Cooper's trip to Europe where he traveled through much of Italy. This novel is set in Venice and it is the first of Cooper's three European novels. The book largely focuses on political themes including the tension between the social elite and other classes.