Ellen Coldfield Sutpen

Character Key: 
Display Name: 
Ellen Coldfield Sutpen
Sort Name: 
Sutpen, Ellen Coldfield
Race: 
White
Gender: 
Female
Class: 
Upper Class
Rank: 
Secondary
Vitality: 
Dies
Family: 
Sutpen
Family (new): 
Date of Birth: 
Thursday, October 9, 1817
Origin: 
Tennessee
Other Texts: 
Biography: 

Ellen Sutpen is the older daughter of Goodhue Coldfield. She is described as "small-boned" but also "what is known as fullbodied" (51). According to the storytellers, Sutpen marries her to gain respectability. The novel does not speculate on why she married Sutpen, but it describes her as very happy in the "the part which she had written for herself": "chatelaine to the largest [plantation], wife to the wealthiest, mother of the most fortunate" (54), blithely encouraging the courtship and anticipating the marriage of her daughter with the apparently very eligible Charles Bon - until reality, in the form of the trouble between her husband and her son and the exactions of the Civil War, prostrate her. She is last seen in 1863 "dying in bed in a darkened room" where she had spent the last two years of her life (61, 62).

Individual or Group: 
Individual
Character changes class in this text: 
Date of Death: 
Friday, January 23, 1863

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