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Violations of the True Woman in The Coquette In this post, "The Cult of True Womanhood: 1820-1860," Barbara Welter discusses the nineteenth-century ideal of the perfect woman. She asserts that "the features of True Womanhood... could be divided in to four cardinal virtues-piety, purity, submissiveness and domesticity." Additionally, she adds that "if anyone, male or female, dared to tamper with the intricate virtues which made up True Womanhood, he was damned quickly as an enemy of God, of culture and of the Republic" (Welter 152). In Hannah W. Foster's The Coquette, the characters Important Sanford and Eliza Wharton violate True Womanhood condemning them both to wretched fates. Major Sanford always amazes the True Womanhood with his systematic charm of girls. Due to his assaults against female purity, Important Sanford is rejected by society to be devoid of merit. Well aware of the reputation, Mrs. Richman warns Eliza he is a "professed libertine" and isn't to be admitted into "virtuous society" (Foster 20). Upon her familiarity with him, her friend Lucy Freeman declares, "I look upon the barbarous customs, and left character of Major Sanford, to possess more pernicious effects on society, compared to perpetrations of the robber and the assassin" (Foster 63). Important Sanford's licentious past dooms him to a future of lechery; there is not any possibility for him to evade his reputation. Eliza's assaults against True Womanhood are offenses of their virtues submissiveness and innocence. When Eliza refuses to ignore the gallantry of Major Sanford in favour of the suggestions of Reverend Boyer despite the warnings of her friends and mother, she disregards submissiveness in favour of her fanc...