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Synopsis

Little is definitively known about Charlotte Lennox (1730?-1804) before the publication of her novels and poetry other than she was probably born in Gibraltar to the English captain-lieutenant, James Ramsay, and moved to New York when she was ten. It is thought that she spent much of her childhood reading romance novels as a solution to the boredom of living at small frontier outposts. She was particularly drawn to Miguel de Cervantes' "Don Quixote", and in 1752 she published "The Female Quixote, Or, The Adventures of Arabella" to enthusiastic reception. The work is part imitation and part commentary on the original, casting a privileged young daughter of a marquis, Arabella, as the novel's heroine. Just like Don Quixote, Arabella embarks on a series of adventures in the countryside, all the while mistakenly thinking herself to be the archetypal maiden of a Romance. This novel served as the basis for Jane Austen's "Northanger Abbey".

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