A young impressionable Englishwoman is seduced by an unscrupulous British soldier, and the pair elope to the American colonies…
Charlotte’s loss of innocence to a heartless villain and her abuse by his callous circle of self-serving acquaintances is at the heart of this classic Georgian morality tale.
First published in 1791, Charlotte Temple was the first US bestseller. Running into countless editions, it was only outsold 60 years later by Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Born in Portsmouth, England, in 1762, author Susanna Haswell Rowson grew up near Boston in the American colonies, where her father was a Royal Navy revenue collector.
Imprisoned for four years during the American Revolution of 1776, she returned to England and worked as a governess while seeking her fortune as a writer.
After joining a band of travelling actors, she headed back to the fledgling United States, where her novel Charlotte Temple became a massive hit. The book is still taught in American Universities and is considered by critics to signal the rise of the ‘American domestic novel’.
This edition contains a foreword by Dr Páraic Finnerty, Reader in English and American Literature, University of Portsmouth.