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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
H. R. Keller.  The Reader’s Digest of Books.
 
The Morgesons
Elizabeth Drew Barstow Stoddard (1823–1902)
 
Morgesons, The, Elizabeth Barstow Stoddard’s first novel (1862). The plot is concerned with the fortunes of the Morgeson family, long resident in a sea-coast town in New England. Two members of it, Cassandra, by whom the story is told, and her sister Veronica, are girls of strange, unconventional nature, wholly undisciplined, who live out their restless lives against the background of a narrow New England household, composed of a gentle, fading mother, a father wholly absorbed in business and affairs, and a dominant female servant, Temperance. When Cassandra returns home from boarding-school, she finds Veronica grown into a pale, reticent girl, with unearthly little ways. Veronica’s own love-story begins when she meets Ben Somers, a friend of her sister. Both girls are born to tragedy, through their passionate, irreconcilable temperament; and the story follows their lives with a strange, detached impartiality, which holds the interest of the reader more closely than any visible advocacy of the cause of either heroine could do. ‘The Morgesons’ is rich in delineation of unusual aspects of character, in a grim New England humor, in those pictures of the sea that are never absent from Mrs. Stoddard’s novels. Suffusing the book is a bleak atmosphere of what might be called passionate mentality, bracing, but calling for a sober power of resistance in the reader.  1
 
 
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