The Two Admirals by James Fenimore Cooper

Title: The Two Admirals. A tale of the sea.
Author: James Fenimore Cooper (September 15, 1789 – September 15, 1851)
Publisher: Sampson Low, Marston & Co Ltd
Year: 1900

the_two_admirals_3c-copyThe 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 had originally intended to write a novel where ships were the main characters, though eventually decided not to. The novel is one of three which Cooper would revise for editions following their first printing, the other two being The Pathfinder and Deerslayer.

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”. Despite the novel not having a large legacy, critic Steven Harthorn describes the novel as one of Cooper’s deepest studies of masculinity.


James Fenimore Cooper

James Fenimore Cooper (September 15, 1789 – September 15, 1851) was a prolific and popular American writer of the early 19th century.

His historical romances of frontier and Indian life in the early American days created a unique form of American literature. He lived most of his life in Cooperstown, New York, which was founded by his father William on property that he owned. Cooper was a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church and, in his later years, contributed generously to it. He attended Yale University for three years, where he was a member of the Linonian Society, but was expelled for misbehavior.

Before embarking on his career as a writer, he served in the U.S. Navy as a Midshipman, which greatly influenced many of his novels and other writings. The novel that launched his career was The Spy, a tale about counterespionage set during the Revolutionary War and published in 1821. He also wrote numerous sea stories, and his best-known works are five historical novels of the frontier period known as the Leatherstocking Tales. Among naval historians, Cooper’s works on the early U.S. Navy have been well received, but they were sometimes criticized by his contemporaries. Among his most famous works is the Romantic novel The Last of the Mohicans, often regarded as his masterpiece.

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