“Pictures of Charlotte” in Book History 

I’m super excited this week because my article “Pictures of Charlotte: the Illustrated Charlotte Temple and Her Readers” is out now in Book History.

Book History is the journal of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP), which anyone with any interest at all in History of the Book should join. Right now. The current issue is the first to be released by Johns Hopkins University Press.

I’m also thrilled because the article was awarded the 2010 Book History Essay Prize. What a tremendous honor! I’m so grateful to the editors for their consideration.

If you have access to an institutional subscription or are a SHARP member, you can access PDFs of articles via Project Muse. (If you don’t and you really want a copy, email me and I can probably be persuaded to send you a copy!)

charlotte temple hobbs portrait 1842 private collection
Frontispiece portrait and engraved title page. (New York: R. Hobbs, 1842) Private Collection. Used By Permission

Here’s the abstract for the article:

In “Pictures of Charlotte: The Illustrated Charlotte Temple and Her Readers” I examine the contribution of illustrated editions of Susannah Rowson’s 1791 novel Charlotte Temple to the novel’s curious afterlife. Reprinted in Philadelphia in 1794, Charlotte Temple became the object of a readerly cult that inspired visits to a gravesite in Trinity Churchyard as well as intimate engagements with the material object of the book itself. Through my analysis of portraits and tableaux illustrations that appeared in the novel between 1809 and 1905, along with evidence of readers’ devotional interactions with the portraits, I trace the integration of Charlotte Temple into the American national story as one of the best-loved icons of the Revolution.


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