The Coquette

The Coquette

3.26 (1,778 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"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, Conneticut. 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 the Reverend 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 a relationship with Sanford and becomes pregnant. Alone and dejected, she dies in childbirth at a roadside inn.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 147.32 x 210.82 x 15.24mm | 158.76g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1facsim.
  • 0195042395
  • 9780195042399

Review quote

"This novel captures very well the dilemma of late 18th-Century American women. Despite their own misgivings about reading a novel of this sort students became caught up in Eliza Wharton's plight and quickly understood the forces at work in her life. It makes a great text for class discussions."--Sonya Michel, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaignshow more

About Hannah Webster Foster

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.show more

Back cover copy

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.show more

Rating details

1,778 ratings
3.26 out of 5 stars
5 11% (199)
4 29% (515)
3 39% (694)
2 17% (305)
1 4% (65)
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