• Title: Self Control (Chawton House Library Women's Novels)
  • Author: Mary Brunton
  • Released: 2013-11-30
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 450
  • ISBN: 1848934025
  • ISBN13: 978-1848934023
  • ASIN: 1848934025
When it appeared in spring 1811, Mary Brunton's first novel, Self-Control, was an overnight best-seller that surpassed both its author's modest expectations and its origins as a lady's genteel pastime. Self-Control combines complex psychological portraiture, religious didacticism and social comedy with a sensitive eye for regional description. While a religious novel, it blends both exciting incident and dramatic characterization with a sophisticated analysis of contemporary gender politics. Going into four editions within one year, the unexpected success of Self-Control can be seen in its popularity both in Edinburgh and London, with contemporaries like Jane Austen part of an eager readership clamouring to number themselves among its readers. Brunton's novel was such a success that an unauthorized edition was produced in America and it was also translated into French. Published in Edinburgh, Brunton's novel was a particularly Scottish success, arguably the first fully home-grown Scots novel, which anticipated the emergence of other noteworthy Scottish writers of the period, such as Christian Johnstone, Susan Ferrier and Walter Scott. Appearing at transformative moment in the history of British fiction, Self-Control is a significant novel by a neglected author - an omission which the present edition seeks to redress. As well as being entertaining, Self Control offers its readers a thought-provoking exploration of early-nineteenth-century attitudes towards gender, class and religion - subjects continued in Brunton's writing before her career was sadly cut short in 1818 when she died shortly after the birth of her first child. This is the first scholarly edition of the novel and includes textual variants.

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