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Charlotte Temple

Mrs. Susanna Rowson

Book Overview: 

Charlotte Temple, a cautionary tale for young women, follows the unfortunate adventures of the eponymous heroine as she is seduced by a dashing soldier, Montraville. Influenced by both her lover and an unruly teacher at her boarding school, she is persuaded to run away to America, where she is eventually abandoned by Montraville after he becomes bored, leaving her alone and pregnant.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .The levity of the gentlemen and the freedom of their conversation disgusted her. She was astonished at the liberties Mademoiselle permitted them to take; grew thoughtful and uneasy, and heartily wished herself at home again in her own chamber.

Perhaps one cause of that wish might be, an earnest desire to see the contents of the letter which had been put into her hand by Montraville.

Any reader who has the least knowledge of the world, will easily imagine the letter was made up of encomiums on her beauty, and vows of everlasting love and constancy; nor will he be surprised that a heart open to every gentle, generous sentiment, should feel itself warmed by gratitude for a man who professed to feel so much for her; nor is it improbable but her mind might revert to the agreeable person and martial appearance of Montraville.

In affairs of love, a young heart is never in more danger than when attempted by a handsome young soldier. A man of an in. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I liked this book for several reasons. One, it was the first novel to become an American best-seller. Two, written by a woman who was also a writer of plays, music, textbooks. She was an actress and an educator. At one point, she was the main breadwinner in her family, which her husband approved of.

solid 3 stars. similar to Pamela but less bad lol

this book is baaaaaad. it is melodramatic and sentimental and full of woe is me and what shall i do and beseeching and fainting and fits and inexplicable deaths. i want montambo to read it because of all the people herein who are faced with unpleasantness, fall into a fit, and die. i want a doctor t

I read this for school, a class about early American literature. In that class this book does have some purpose and lends something to American literature but as a 21st century reader this book offers nothing worthwhile.

After the first American novel I went straight to the first American best seller. This is an ordinary sentimental novel of the era in which the author narrates in excessively dramatic tones a story of seduction intended - as she claims - to warn girls and their parents about this threat. It is a boo

I'm rating this book based on historical context and for entertainment value. It's a really hilarious, melodramatic book with an absurd and sensational story about a young woman who falls into vice (basically, in the words of Coach from Mean Girls, "Don't have sex. You will get pregnant. And die.").

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