Roderick Hudson and Rowland Mallet are like two sides of the same coin: while the whimsical and egotistical Roderick recklessly follows his passions in the name of art, altruistic Rowland lives with restraint and measure. The two are bound together almost immediately when Rowland is shown a striking bronze statuette in his cousin’s garden, which moves him to meet and support its creator, Roderick. They abandon their provincial New England lives for Rome, where the young sculptor perfects his craft and flourishes among Italy’s great masters, while Rowland lives vicariously through Roderick, patiently hoping that the artist’s fiancée, Mary Garland, might one day share his feelings.
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