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A New-England Tale
by Catharine Sedgwick
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Jane Elton, orphaned as a young girl, goes to live with her aunt Mrs. Wilson, a selfish and overbearing woman who practices a repressive Calvinism. In their rural New England village, Jane grows up yearning to break free from Mrs. Wilson's tyranny and find her place as a citizen of the evolving American Republic. She is helped by her encounters with characters who embody various shadings of moral, religious, and civic virtue: the affectionate servant Mary Hull, a pious Methodist; Mr. Lloyd, a kind Quaker; Crazy Bet, emotional, sympathetic, but deeply unstable; and Old John, bereaved but wise. Ultimately, A New-England Tale is about the connection between parenting and governing, and the key role women play in shaping a fledgling nation.
Edited with an Introduction by Susan K. Harris.
Notes by Emily E. Van Dette.
About the Author
Catharine Maria Sedgwick (1789-1867) was one of the first American women authors to gain prominence. She was born in Massachusetts, where she set several of her works. She published six novels and later wrote on domestic and social issues.
Susan K. Harris teaches in the English department of the University of Kansas and is the editor of Harriet Beecher Stowe's The Minister's Wooing in Penguin Classics.
Emily E. Van Dette is a doctoral candidate at the Pennsylvania State University.
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