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In 1842, a young Cuban woman living in Spain published a novel that was so passionate and boldly feminist in content, it did not appear in her homeland until more than seventy years later. Two Women tells the riveting tale of a tumultuous love triangle among three wealthy Spaniards: a brilliant, young, widowed countess named Catalina, her inexperienced lover Carlos, and his pure and virtuous wife Luisa. The two women start out as rivals, yet in an insightful twist, they ultimately find they are both victims of a patriarchal society that ruthlessly pits women against each other. As the story builds to its thrilling climax, they confront the stark truth that in nineteenth-century Spain, women have few paths to a happy ending.

This first English translation of the novel captures the lyrical romanticism of its prose and includes a scholarly introduction to the work and its author, Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, a pioneering feminist and anti-slavery activist who based the character of Catalina on her own experience. Two Women is a searing indictment of the stern laws and customs governing marriage in the Hispanic world, brought to life in a spellbinding, tragic love story.


early feminist fiction, nineteenth-century women's fiction, romantic fiction, Cuban fiction, Latin American fiction, Spanish literature in translation, Spanish fiction, translation, femme fatale, love stories, angel of the house


Copyright © 2022 by Barbara F. Ichiishi All rights reserved No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. Please contact Bucknell University Press, Hildreth- Mirza Hall, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA 17837-2005. The only exception to this prohibition is “fair use” as defined by U.S. copyright law.


text, 308 pages





Two Women: A Novel