Degree Year


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




Lawrence Buell


Elizabeth Stoddard, Morgesons, Feminine


My concern in this paper is primarily with Elizabeth Stoddard's The Morgesons, though I will close with a few observations about the canonization and exclusion of literary works. Stoddard's novel, published in 1862, holds great interest because, among other things, it is in the position of possibly attaining a wider readership, if not canonization, and yet its success is hardly assured. Independent of its particular fictive character, it is a rewarding and strange work to read because of its positioning. Its 1984 republishing, edited and with an introduction by Lawrence Buell and Sandra Zagarell, has been variously received, achieving a degree of success and suffering a degree of rejection; presently, it's selling fairly well but it's future is yet to be determined. Far from a privileged text, it is open to the kind of criticism discussed above, where individual readers have a greater sense of empowerment.