Synopses & Reviews
Susanna Rowson, a British American novelist, poet, playwright, actress, and educator, was responsible for writing the first American best-selling novel. In 1791, Rowson published "Charlotte Temple," which held the rank of best-selling novel of all time until Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (1852). During her lifetime, she dabbled in many genres, composing novels, poetry, plays, musical farce, a dictionary, and even an opera. Many of her works were steeped in political opinion, as her life was greatly affected by the Revolutionary War. She would eventually go on to act on the stage, and then open a boarding school for girls. "Charlotte Temple" is an example of the seduction novel genre, wildly popular in early American literature. A British schoolgirl falls victim to the overwhelming charm of a handsome soldier, moving with him to America, where he abandons her, leaving her in an incredibly compromising position.