By Ferdâ Asya (eds.)
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Additional info for American Writers in Europe: 1850 to the Present
In brief, on his return home from battle, Orville Deville falls in love with and marries Lionne Delaforet. Learning his mother is ill, he leaves Lionne with her father to return to his Maryland plantation, River-view. In residence is his first wife, Lady Adelaide. The two cousins had married at the instigation of their parents when they were teenagers, but had never lived together. Orville realizes that he has committed the serious crime of bigamy, but positions the blame on the innocent Lionne for being so extremely beautiful and seductive.
G od p e r m i t s t h e t a r e s t o g r o w w i t h t h e w h e at ” 35 The critic Dana Luciano explains that Southworth’s skills in this area have been overlooked, since the author had previously concentrated solely on illuminating fault lines in the middle-class home; however, Southworth did have a long history of using the “sensational novel as a means of exposing . . hidden networks of corruption” (Luciano 324). Luciano’s perceptive statement is made in a comparative analysis of the gothic elements in Southworth’s novels alongside works by Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Allan Poe, and George Lippard.
He commits patricide when his own father would have thwarted his seduction of a young widow. This widow, Mrs. Ravenscroft, is later driven mad by the knowledge of Thugsen’s crime. Thugsen is behind almost all of the calamitous plot twists in the novel; he embodies evil. So, when he returns again to his deserted wife toward the end of the novel, even the most conservative and misogynistic reader must repudiate 42 A n n Be e be the idea that he should be granted marital rights by the legal system.
American Writers in Europe: 1850 to the Present by Ferdâ Asya (eds.)