Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? The book tells of the seduction of a British schoolgirl by a dashing soldier, John Montraville, who brings her to America and there abandons her, pregnant and ill. As such, it belongs to the seduction novel genre popular in early American literature. Read more Read less. Amazon International Store International products have separate terms, are sold from abroad and may differ from local products, including fit, age ratings, and language of product, labeling or instructions.
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With its classic theme of seduction and remorse, it sparked a great deal of controversy in its time. Yet it remained the most widely read novel of the first half of the nineteenth century. She was the daughter of William Haswell, an officer of the British navy. When she was eight years old she went with him to America. There they lived until the start of the Revolutionary War when a patriotic call of duty recalled Lieutenant Haswell to England.
Susanna was married in London in to William Rowson. In — three years after Charlotte Temple was published — she and her husband sailed to America, but the rumor that our streets were paved with gold did not prove true. William Rowson went bankrupt, after which his wife made the family living as an actress. After three years of acting on the American stage, Susanna found that school teaching an writing plays and novels were more profitable and less strenuous than acting.
From the amount of writing she did, she must have been an exceedingly busy woman. She herself had this to say about her most popular book:. Learn more about Susanna Rowson. The story is about the betrayal of an innocent maiden. Charlotte, at age fifteen, is a student in an English bearing school when her friendship with her French teacher, Mlle.
La Rue, leads her to secret meetings with two British officers who are about to set sail for America to take part in the Revolutionary War. The night before she is to be allowed to go home to her family — her father is the younger son of an earl — for the celebration of her birthday, she is persuaded to go with the officer with whom she has fallen in love.
He promises to marry her when they get to America. This promise, of course, is not kept. The officer conveniently falls in love with a girl with far more money than poor Charlotte has. And though he makes arrangements for her care and protection, the man through whom these arrangements are made proves false.
Charlotte is made to suffer and pay over an over for her unhappy adventure. In the end, when her family has learned of her whereabouts and her father is hurrying to save her, she gives birth to a baby girl and dies of malnutrition.
Charlotte Temple on Amazon. The plot was undoubtedly threadworn even in its day, but few writers have told it with so much suspense. Literary fashions of the late 18th century abound in the book. The ladies are forever fainting at the hint of bad news, or are thrown into hysterias. Charlotte Temple is full of heavy moralizing, especially when concerns with seduction.
For instance:. Great heavens! Oh, my dear girls, for such only am I writing listen not to the voice of love, unsanctioned by paternal approbation; be assured it is now past days of romance. No woman can be run away with contrary to her own inclination; then kneel own each morning and request high heaven to keep you free from temptation. Or, should it please to suffer you to be tried, pray for fortitude to resist the impulse of inclination when it runs counter to the precepts of religion and virtue.
At first, Charlotte virtuously determines never again to see Montraville, her seducer, again. And then must see him again, in order to tell him that she will not see him:.
Montraville was tender, ardent, and yet respectful, we are told, and we wonder just how he managed to be so:. Will you not bless me by an assurance that when we are divided by a vast expanse of sea, I shall not be forgotten? Charlotte sighed. Could I flatter myself that a fear for my safety or a wish for my welfare occasioned it, how happy it would make me. It is my last request and I shall never trouble you again. Poor Charlotte, through her misplaced fidelity, is first neglected and then driven into the streets, with no one to befriend her.
While on the other hand, the completely amoral Mlle. This hardly seems poetic justice, but on the very last page of the book, in very small print, all is made right:. It was said that ten years after these sad events that Mr. Temple were obliged to go to London on particular business and brought their little Lucy with them. They had been walking one morning when on their return they found a poor wretch sitting on the steps at the door. She attempted to arise as they approached, but from extreme weakness was unable, and after several fruitless efforts, fell back in a fit.
But she recovered enough to tell her story it was the former Mlle. La Rue, no longer the rich and powerful Mrs. I am she who turned poor Charlotte out to perish in the street. The Temples, being noble-hearted people, give her food and wine, and Mrs.
And there the book ends. If the product is purchased by linking through, Literary Ladies Guide receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing! Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Charlotte Temple by Susanna Rowson Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Email address.
Charlotte Temple Summary
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With its classic theme of seduction and remorse, it sparked a great deal of controversy in its time. Yet it remained the most widely read novel of the first half of the nineteenth century. She was the daughter of William Haswell, an officer of the British navy. When she was eight years old she went with him to America.
Charlotte Temple by Susanna Rowson (1790)
The first American edition was published in and the novel became a bestseller. Late in life, the author would write a sequel that would be published posthumously. The book relates the tale of Charlotte Temple, who is enticed by a dashing soldier, John Montraville, to run away with him, but after they cross to America, he abandons her. It belongs to the seduction novel genre popular in early American literature. The novel opens upon an unexpected encounter between the British Lieutenant Montraville and Charlotte Temple, a tall, elegant girl of Montraville sets his mind on seducing Charlotte and succeeds with the help of his libertine friend Belcour and Mademoiselle La Rue, a teacher at the boarding school Charlotte attends.