Ethelinde by Charlotte Smith, edited by Ellen Moody

charlotte-smith-ethelindeNow that the election is over…

One good thing happened!

Today I received in the mail a copy of 18th-century novelist Charlotte Smith’s Ethelinde, edited and with an introduction and notes by my friend Ellen Moody.  This beautiful paperback is published by Valancourt Books.

According to the jacket copy, Smith (1749-1806), the author of 10 novels, wrote to support herself and her 10 children after her husband was imprisoned for debt.

In the introduction, Ellen  compares it to Anna Karenina.  Here’s a brief excerpt from the introduction:

Ethelinde is centered on a depiction of adulterous love more sympathetic and true to experience on the sides of both the novel’s hero, Sir Edward Newenden and his once loved wife, Maria, Lady Newenden, than what is found in Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina.  It is the story of Newenden’s gradual falling in love with Ethelinde Chesterville, the novel’s primary heroine, his physical as well as emotional need for her in the face of his wife’s increasing distaste for him, for his idealistic and ethical values, and for his children; of his efforts to repress his longing for the congenial, sensitive, readerly Ethelinde; and of the final thwarting of his intensely compelling and sexual desire for Ethelinde.

Ellen is a superb writer and blogger and an expert on 18th century literature.  You can read her work at Ellen and Jim Have a Blog, Two and Reveries under the Sign of Austen, Two.

More on this later!