Explain the popularity and appeal of Susanna Rowson’s novel, Charlotte Temple upon its publication in 1791. How did Rowson seek to disarm readers who may be suspicious of the moral utility of reading fiction? Who are the new readers that she claims to be writing for? Describe how the book uses the multiple (and gendered) meanings of “virtue” to explore issues of seduction, corruption, power, and choice, that were in the minds and political debates of Americans in the decade of the 1790s? How might the novel be read as a cautionary tale both for young women and the young republic?
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