Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Hannah Webster Foster's The Coquette. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Coquette: Introduction
The Coquette: Plot Summary
The Coquette: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Coquette: Themes
The Coquette: Quotes
The Coquette: Characters
The Coquette: Symbols
The Coquette: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Hannah Webster Foster
Historical Context of The Coquette
Other Books Related to The Coquette
- Full Title: The Coquette; or, the History of Eliza Wharton
- When Written: 1797
- Where Written: Brighton, Massachusetts
- When Published: 1797
- Literary Period: Revolutionary/Early American
- Genre: Fiction, epistolary novel
- Setting: Connecticut and Massachusetts
- Climax: When Eliza’s mother, Mrs. Wharton, reads a death notice in a Boston newspaper for a woman matching Eliza’s description and realizes Eliza has died at an inn in Danvers after giving birth to a child, who has also died.
- Antagonist: Peter Sanford
- Point of View: first-person (through multiple letters from various people)
Extra Credit for The Coquette
A First Time for Everything. The Coquette was the first novel written and published by an American born woman, and even though it wasn’t published under Foster’s name until 1866, it has been popular and widely read since the day it was published in 1797.
Famous Relatives. Elizabeth Whitman, the real-life inspiration for Foster’s Eliza Wharton, was a distant cousin to Foster’s husband, John.