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The Romantic Comedians

Ellen Glasgow. Afterword by Dorothy M. Scura
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In The Romantic Comedians Ellen Glasgow takes the familiar story of the cuckold and raises it to a new leve. Her sixty-five-year-old male protagonist, the recently widowed Judge Gamaliel Honeywell, falls in love with and marries an impulsive twenty-three-year-old woman, emblem of the 1920s. As the symbol of patriarchy, the Judge espouses all of the chivalrous myths about women, insisting that older women are not interested in love, that a man is only as old as his instincts, and that some young women prefer old lovers to young ones. His sheltered mind allows these dillusions about women as it allows him to delude himself.