The Story of Henrietta

The Story of Henrietta

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Overview

Originally published as the second volume in Charlotte Smith's five volume series of The Letters of a Solitary Wanderer in 1800, The Story of Henrietta follows its heroine as her happy life with her aunt and her beloved is quickly shattered by her tyrannical father's cruelty. Henrietta's father, a slaveholder in Jamaica, summons her to his plantation, where he plans to marry her off to a man she despises. But when she tries to escape, she will encounter other unexpected dangers, including capture by lascivious natives, a slave rebellion, and a hermit with a mysterious and tragic history! This edition reprints the unabridged text of the 1800 first edition with a new introduction and extensive annotations by Janina Nordius.

"The novella-length Story of Henrietta is among Charlotte Smith's least known but most interesting works, for here Smith leaves the ruins and castles of Europe behind to make a significant foray into another, yet so far little explored field of gothic terror and brutality. Setting her story in the British colony of Jamaica, she expands her political concerns to embrace also the controversial issue of colonial slavery, a system supported by powerful financial interests in the metropolis but also increasingly criticized there by the growing abolitionist movement. In representing the slaveholding island as a location so fraught with horrors and anxieties as to chill the blood of the most seasoned gothic reader, Smith conjures up a parallel between women's disempowerment and the situation of the enslaved, while at the same time considerably radicalizing her critique of the West Indian slave regimes already begun in her short novel The Wanderings of Warwick (1794)."

- From the Introduction by Janina Nordius

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781934555545
Publisher: Valancourt Books
Publication date: 08/06/2012
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 218
Sales rank: 949,338
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)

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