The Coquette by Hannah W. Foster

The Coquette

byHannah W. FosterEditorCathy N. Davidson

Paperback | May 1, 1993

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The Coquette tells the much-publicized story of the seduction and death of Elizabeth Whitman, a poet from Hartford, Connecticut. Written as a series of letters--between the heroine and her friends and lovers--it describes her long, tortuous courtship by two men, neither of whom perfectly suits her. Eliza Wharton (as Whitman is called in the novel) wavers between Major Sanford, a charming but insincere man, and theReverend Boyer, a bore who wants to marry her. When, in her mid-30s, Wharton finds herself suddenly abandoned when both men marry other women, she willfully enters into an adulterous relationship with Sanford and becomes pregnant. Alone and dejected, she dies in childbirth at a roadside inn. ElizaWharton, whose real-life counterpart was distantly related to Hannah Foster's husband, was one of the first women in American fiction to emerge as a real person facing a dilemma in her life. In her Introduction, Davidson discusses the parallels between Elizabeth Whitman and the fictional ElizaWharton. She shows the limitations placed on women in the 18th century and the attempts of one woman to rebel against those limitations.

About The Author

Cathy N. Davidson, Professor of English at Michigan State University, is author most recently of Revolution and the Word: The Rise of the Novel in America.
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Details & Specs

Title:The CoquetteFormat:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 5.12 × 7.91 × 0.51 inPublished:May 1, 1993Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195042395

ISBN - 13:9780195042399

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From Our Editors

The Coquette, one of the two 'best-selling' American novels of the 18th century, tells the much-publicized story of the seduction and death of Elizabeth Whitman, a poet from Hartford, Connecticut. Written as a series of letters-between the heroine and her friends and lovers-it describes her long, tortuous courtship by two men, neither of whom perfectly suits her.

Editorial Reviews

"This edition, with the invaluable introduction by Cathy Davidson, is a wonderful teaching text for courses in American Literature, Women's Literature, Introduction to Literature and Cultural Literature."--Lorrayne Carroll, University of Southern Maine