Southworth, E. D. E. N. (1819–1899)

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Southworth, E. D. E. N. (1819–1899)

American novelist. Born Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte, Dec 26, 1819, in Washington, DC; died in Georgetown, Washington, DC, June 30, 1899; dau. of Charles Le Compte Nevitte and his 2nd wife, Susannah (Wailes) Nevitte; sister of Frances Henshaw Baden; graduate of stepfather Joshua L. Henshaw's school, 1835; m. Frederick Hamilton Southworth (inventor), 1840 (sep. 1844); children: Richmond, Charlotte Emma.

Abandoned by husband, wrote to support family; serialized 1st story, The Irish Refugee, in Baltimore Sunday Visitor (1846); published 1st novel, Retribution, in both serial and book form (1849), which subsequently increased her success as a writer; wrote for Saturday Evening Post for 8 years, then began writing for New York Ledger (1857); as the New York Ledger became one of the bestselling periodicals in the US, became one of the most popular novelists of her era; published most popular novel, The Hidden Hand (1859); writing 73 books, deftly used the machinations of the Gothic romance style to create stories brimming with melodramatic conventions, which appealed to readers, while also developing protagonists with greater depth of character than their counterparts in typical stories of the day; often featured heroines who were on the margins of society, who were abused or neglected by their spouses, or were constrained by the patriarchal culture of the 19th century; was also a feminist and abolitionist.

See also Women in World History.

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Southworth, E. D. E. N. (1819–1899)

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Southworth, E. D. E. N. (1819–1899)