Two Men

"Your conceit surpasses anything I ever saw."


"...we should have to take what we are with us, wherever we went."


"That man... is a man of genius, and an honor to human nature. If he develops, I should like to make a raree show of him."

As I've written before, I am deeply obliged to the Vault at Pfaff's for introducing me to worthwhile writers that otherwise I may never have read. One writer who shines out particularly for me is Elizabeth Stoddard.

Her first novel, The Morgesons [1862, already available at Project Gutenberg] is excellent, but her second novel, Two Men [1865] is sharp as a tack, and has fangs and claws. The characters and plot are deceptively simple, yet the exposition is unexpectedly deep, and quite entertaining. Then, when the theme of racial prejudice is introduced, the fur really begins to fly. Why this work (not to mention her third novel, Temple House [1867], which I also intend to reproduce) should languish in almost total obscurity, while The Morgesons at least has some little attention paid to it, is a mystery to me.

I chose to transcribe the 1901 revised edition, because: 1) it matches the edition of The Morgesons available at Project Gutenberg, and 2) it is the latest one released during the author's lifetime. However, it is so riddled with typographical errors, that at times I found myself wondering whether I should have used the original 1865 edition instead. Nonetheless, I preserved certain variant spellings which occur frequently, notably "cotillon" [the one instance of "cotillion" I reverted to match the 1865 edition].

So here it is: the master HTML version, the home-brew Kindle version, and the actual Amazon publication.

September 26, 2019

ffred's nearly-forgotten treasures