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Susanna Haswell Rowson

Rowson, Susanna Haswell (rouˈsən) [key], 1762–1824, American author and actress, b. England. She was brought to America as a young child, but after the Revolution, the family returned to England. Her first novel, Victoria, appeared in 1786, the same year she married William Rowson. Having acted for a short time in England, the Rowsons emigrated to the United States in 1793, joining a theatrical company in Philadelphia. Retiring from the stage in 1796, Mrs. Rowson opened a school for girls in Boston, one of the best of its day, which she directed for 25 years. She wrote novels, poetry, and plays, but is remembered for one novel, Charlotte: a Tale of Truth (1791), called in later editions Charlotte Temple, a sentimental and didactic story, which went through more than 150 editions.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: American Literature: Biographies


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