A Literary Criticism of Charlotte Temple Charlotte Temple is a novel written by Susanne Rowson in the late eighteenth century. The novel was first published in England, but was soon published in America having many different editions throughout the years. Charlotte Temple is considered the second American book and was extremely popular during its time of publishing due to its somewhat short length and topic. Charlotte Temple is a story of an innocent and ignorant young girl who is seduced by a man, which ultimately leads to her death. The novella was considered to be somewhat taboo during its time period because of its nature dealing with lust and young love, a prevalent theme noticeable throughout the entire story. The story begins with the introduction of the English soldier Montraville whose attention has been caught by the young woman Charlotte Temple. Montraville describes her beauty to his friend Belcour, who seemed more interested in the idea of a looming war (The American Revolutionary War) than the woman that has caught the eye of his friend. For three days Montraville cannot get Charlotte out of his head and therefore decides to go to her home to see her. After deciding that he should leave and not think of or see her at all, he catches a glance of two women walking in a field. One of the women is Charlotte and the other is her French teacher Mademoiselle la Rue. Montraville later meets up with and bribes la Rue, so long as Charlotte will meet him the next night in the same field. Montraville also gives Charlotte a note. The novella then mentions how Charlotte’s parents met and how her father, Mr. Henry Temple, married her mother, Miss Elridge, despite the disapproval of Mr. Temple’s father, who ultimately cuts Henry off from his fortune. Mr. Temple pays off Mr. Elridge’s debt, buys a cottage, and moves into it with his bride Lucy Elridge and Mr. Elridge, where they have their only child Charlotte. The marriage of Mr. Temple and Mrs. Temple is
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Rowson, Susanna. Charlotte Temple. S. Andrus: 1825. Google Play. Web. 15 July 2012.