Two Men


Two Men

Elizabeth Stoddard
Edited and with an introduction by Jennifer Putzi

Legacies of Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers Series

338 pages


June 2008


$22.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
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June 2008


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About the Book

We first meet Jason Auster when he climbs out of a stagecoach in a New England maritime town and, as it were, salutes destiny. A twenty-year-old house carpenter who has come adventuring, Jason hopes to “put in practice certain theories concerning the rights of men and property which had already made him a pest at home.” And, indeed, theory and practice, destiny and self-determination are all following quite different paths as this antebellum story of love and power, incest and family honor, and sexual bonds and intractable conflicts between races and classes plays out against the backdrop of a nation—and a world—divided.
First published in 1865, this novel tracks the fortunes of Jason and his unlikely bride, the aristocratic Sarah Parke, along with the children and wards, the lost loves and secret passions that define and forever alter an entire family and everyone who touches it. Uniquely located within the romantic, realist, and regional traditions, this oddly unsentimental tale illuminates the racial, sexual, and political conventions and conflicts of its time even as it offers an unusual and compelling perspective on the historical moment it reflects.

Author Bio

Elizabeth Stoddard (1823–1902) was the author of three novels, including The Morgesons and Temple House, as well as short fiction, poetry, and newspaper editorials.
Jennifer Putzi is an assistant professor in the Department of English and Women’s Studies Program at the College of William and Mary. She is the author of Identifying Marks: The Marked Body in Nineteenth-Century American Literature.


"Stoddard was an author ahead of her time; her portrayal of strong women seems almost anachronistic, her descriptive writing flows, and she conveys much of her characters' thoughts through dialog. Two Men is a remarkable tale."—Donna Bassett, Historical Novels Review

"Putzi offers a strong case for the continued examination of Stoddard's work and for the reexamination of her novels as squarely situated within the changing social, political, and literary landscape of the United States during and following the Civil War."—Bridgette Copeland, Legacy

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