The Coquette or, The History of Eliza Wharton is an epistolary novel by Hannah Webster Foster. It was published anonymously in 1797, and did not appear under the author's real name until 1856, 16 years after Foster's death. It was one of the best-selling novels of its time and was reprinted eight times between 1824 and 1828. A fictionalized account of the much-publicized death of a socially elite Connecticut woman after giving birth to a stillborn, illegitimate child at a roadside tavern, Foster’s novel highlights the social conditions that lead to the downfall of an otherwise well-educated and socially adept woman.
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