Literature / Charlotte Temple

The bestselling book of early 19th-century America, written by Susanna Rowson and published in 1791.

Charlotte is a sweet, innocent English girl who knows little of the world. On the advice of her poisonous new "friend," Mlle de la Rue, Charlotte decides to run away with John Montraville, a dashing and handsome soldier whom she loves. They elope... to America. Their honeymoon doesn't last, though, and it's not long before Charlotte is abandoned and on the streets... and did we mention pregnant?

Charlotte Temple contains examples of :

  • An Aesop: Stated quite explicitly at the end.
  • Babies Ever After - not used very happily.
  • Dear Negative Reader: Not only set up defensively in the foreword, but a climactic chapter is actually titled "Which Those Devoid of Feeling Need Not Read," i.e. "Which Those Who Would Criticize It For the Sentimental and Predictable Melodrama That It Is, Need Not Read."
  • Death by Childbirth
  • Death by Sex/The Scourge of God: Charlotte dies after giving birth.
  • Femme Fatale- Mademoiselle de la Rue
  • French Jerk - Mlle de la Rue.
    • Averted with Charlotte's French headmistress. Charlotte's father apologises to her after referring to de la Rue as "that Frenchwoman".
  • The Ingenue- Charlotte
  • Lemony Narrator - who isn't even ironic about it.
  • Meaningful Name - "La Rue" is French for "The Street." Let's look again at Mlle "de la Rue"...
  • Na´ve Everygirl - Charlotte
  • Scare 'Em Straight - If you run away with a man who looks good in a uniform - or even listen to women who are - gasp! - at all sexual, you'll be abandoned and left to starve on the streets while pregnant, and if you're really lucky, you'll get to die in your father's arms.
  • Sex Is Evil
  • Toxic Friend Influence - Mademoiselle de la Rue