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The Two Admirals is an 1842 nautical fiction novel by James Fenimore Cooper. The novel was written after the Leatherstocking Tales novel The Deerslayer. Set during the 18th century and exploring the British Royal Navy, Cooper wrote the novel out of encouragement of his English publisher, who recommended writing another sea novel.[1] Cooper had originally intended to write a novel where ships were the main characters, though eventually decided not to.[2] The novels is one of three novels which Cooper would revise for editions following their first printing, the other two being The Pathfinder and Deerslayer.[2]

When republishing the novel in the 1860s, Cooper's Daughter, Susan Fenimore Cooper, described the novel as "the least successful of his romances of the sea".[1] Despite the novel not having a large legacy, critic Steven Harthorn describes the novel as one of Cooper's deepest studies of masculinity.[3]

The original manuscript for the novel is held by the Special Collections Department at the University of Virginia Library and contains 257 pages.[4]


  1. ^ a b "The Two Admirals". Introductions to Novels by James Fenimore Cooper by Susan Fenimore Cooper (Household ed.). New York and Cambridge: Houghton, Mifflin and Co. – via The James Fenimore Cooper Society.
  2. ^ a b Schachterle, Lance (2003). "Cooper and His Collaborators: Recovering Cooper's Final Intentions for His Fiction". Studies in Bibliography. 56 (1): 317–337. doi:10.1353/sib.2007.0010. ISSN 1553-3891. 
  3. ^ Harthorn, Steven (2000). "I Loved Him Like a Brother": Male Bonds in The Two Admirals. Central New York Conference on Language and Literature. Cortland, N.Y. Archived from the original on 2010-06-30 – via James Fenimore Cooper Society.
  4. ^ "A GUIDE TO THE PAPERS OF JAMES FENIMORE COOPER, 1813-1844 AND N.D." Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library.

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