in "Lemorne versus Huell." Critics comment on Stoddard strong feminist voice in these two stories, both of which depict intense heroines who contemplate marriage but who feel trapped by their choices. Sadly, only a few of Stoddard's stories have been anthologized, and the majority of her short work remains uncollected, its richness unexplored.
In New England Literary Culture, Buell claims that Stoddard is "absurdly undervalued" (354), an assessment that is still true, although change is under way. Perhaps the very seriousness of Stoddard's work contributed to its delayed examination by those involved in the current recovery of nineteenth-century female texts, an effort that initially focused on writers of popular domestic fiction. Like Stoddard's own audience as well as our century's early critics of American literature, we, too, seem to set arbitrary criteria by which to gauge Stoddard's writing. Recent landmark studies of nineteenth-century American womens' writing do not mention Stoddard, and she fails to appear in Blackwell recently published Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers: An Anthology ( 1992).
Elizabeth Drew Barstow Stoddard's literary achievement encompasses nearly all literary genres: novels, poetry, short stories, essays, correspondence, and journalism. In an era that rewarded mediocre writers, Stoddard's steadfast refusal to join their ranks contributed to her literary oblivion. We are, however, reversing that trend and beginning to grant her the distinction that her works unquestionably merit. Her bold and imaginative narrative voice, her avowedly secular and sexual female characters, and her acerbic commentaries serve to enliven, enrich, and complicate our continuing reexamination of nineteenth- century American literature. Particularly as scholars reassess the diversity of women's writing and their correspondingly disparate ideologies during the nineteenth century, we should listen to and heed Stoddard's unique voice.
The Morgesons. New York: Carleton and Co., 1862. Republished with preface by Elizabeth Stoddard . Philadelphia: Coates and Co., 1901. Revised edition with a biographical and critical introduction by Lawrence Buell and Sandra A. Zagarell. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1984.
Two Men. New York: Bunce and Huntington, 1865. Revised edition with preface by Edmund Clarence Stedman. New York: Cassell and Co., 1888. Republished, Philadelphia: Coates and Co., 1901.
Temple House. New York: Carleton and Co., 1867. Revised edition, New York: Cassell and Co., 1888. Republished, Philadelphia: Coates and Co., 1901.
Remember, a Keepsake. Edited by Richard H. and Elizabeth B. Stoddard. New York:
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers:A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook. Contributors: Denise D. Knight - Editor. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1997. Page number: 403.