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Southworth's Brilliant Writing Few nineteenth-century American women novelists met with success equal to that of Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth (E.D.E.N. Southworth). Harriet Beecher Stowe, Susan Warner, Fanny Fern, and others certainly sold record amounts of individual books; however, E.D.E.N. Southworth's over 40 books continuously became best-sellers during a 44-year career, making her, with time, perhaps the bestselling writer, male or female, of her creation. Her tales entered into the American sense - getting popular plays, forming fashion tendencies, developing women's dreams of themselves - and shaped the image of "Americanness" in the minds of international readers around the globe. In particular, Southworth's novels taught the world a vision of this American girl which equaled in power and influence James Fenimore Cooper's demonstration of the American man who so captured international attention. Back in the home, reviewers, critics, and other novelists either praised or refused the immense energy of her writing, her vision, calling her the very best novelist of this era or, conversely, exposing the unladylike exuberance of her prose or motifs. Her primacy forced the literary universe to respond - either as lovers or haters. Southworth's life trials shaped the fiction author she became. As a girl set on the margins - by poverty, neglect, social stratification, standing as an abandoned girl - Southworth learned to talk the language of the dispossessed. In an era when debates over individual rights dominated the social and political landscape, Southworth wrote fiction celebrating strong independent women, aboli...