Podcast: Play in new window
| Download (Duration: 58:10 — 53.2MB)
Two Men, the second novel by Elizabeth Stoddard (1823–1902), was published in 1865, in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, but is set before the war. Reviews were either mixed, recognizing the originality of her talent but faulting her preoccupations and technique, or hostile to the point of irrationality: Stoddard’s worst critics—all male—found it difficult to accept her undermining of illusions about the home as a tranquil haven, and her harshly realistic depiction of family tensions.
In this episode, the two Parke family heirs of the younger generation have come home from college, and family dynamics are further complicated by their emerging adulthood.
Two Men is read by Shayne Laughter. Stoddard’s letters are read throughout the series by Sarah Torbeck.
Heather Perry hosts, with announcer Jack Hanek. The episode was produced, written, and edited by Cynthia Wolfe, with assistance from Heather Perry, Sarah Torbeck, and Jack Hanek.
Special music for Two Men comes from the album MacDowell: Second Modern Suite / Étude de Concert / Twelve Études (Naxos, 1999), performed by James Barbagallo (1952–1996). The American composer Edward MacDowell, born in 1860, wrote these works for piano in the 1880s, around the time Two Men was reissued.
Executive producer: Joe Crawford
Theme music: The Impossible Shapes