A New-England Tale

Front Cover
Penguin, 2003 - Fiction - 199 pages

Jane Elton, orphaned as a young girl, goes to live with her aunt Mrs. Wilson, a selfish and overbearing woman who practices a repressive Calvinism. In their rural New England village, Jane grows up yearning to break free from Mrs. Wilson's tyranny and find her place as a citizen of the evolving American Republic. She is helped by her encounters with characters who embody various shadings of moral, religious, and civic virtue: the affectionate servant Mary Hull, a pious Methodist; Mr. Lloyd, a kind Quaker; Crazy Bet, emotional, sympathetic, but deeply unstable; and Old John, bereaved but wise. Ultimately, A New-England Tale is about the connection between parenting and governing, and the key role women play in shaping a fledgling nation.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2003)

Catharine Maria Sedgwick (1789-1867) was one of the first American women authors to gain prominence. She was born in Massachusetts, where she set several of her works. She published six novels and later wrote on domestic and social issues.


Susan K. Harris is Joyce and Elizabeth Hall Distinguished Professor of American Literature at the University of Kansas.

Emily E. Van Dette is a doctoral candidate at the Pennsylvania State University.

Bibliographic information