The Life of Madame de Beaumount and The Life of Charlotta du Pont
  • Publication Date: August 3, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781554813537 / 1554813530
  • 312 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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The Life of Madame de Beaumount and The Life of Charlotta du Pont

  • Publication Date: August 3, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781554813537 / 1554813530
  • 312 pages; 5½" x 8½"

The prose fiction of Penelope Aubin offers a delightful and provocative challenge to many of our standard ways of thinking about both the “rise of the novel” and early women writers. Aubin’s fast-paced narratives highlight the persistence and vitality of romance as a form of storytelling and the centrality of teenaged girls to tales that extend far beyond the domestic and amatory modes with which they have traditionally been associated. Aubin’s resourceful heroines and the often spectacular violence they engage in in order to defend their lives and bodily integrity allow us a more expansive and exciting view of early-eighteenth-century fiction than the current classroom canon often permits. In narratives spanning the globe and featuring pirates, North African corsairs, Jacobites, shipwrecks, and seraglios, Aubin delivers fiction with roots that go back to antiquity and commitments that feel far more modern than most other texts from the period.

Supplementary materials include selections from Aubin’s other work in which she reflects upon her craft and the two documents most responsible for the posthumous distortion of her reputation.


“Just try to read this Broadview Edition of Penelope Aubin’s fiction without pumping your fist in the air. Aubin’s work is ripe for revisiting, and David Brewer’s sharp and accessible introduction will make her texts newly available to readers. He gives us a fresh look at Aubin, highlighting her theory of fiction and her embrace of kick-ass teenage girls. His judicious and accessible annotations provide students with important historical context and help with tricky vocabulary. I look forward to teaching this edition to majors and non-majors alike.” — Stephanie Insley Hershinow, Baruch College, City University of New York

“It’s a delight to have two of Penelope Aubin’s extravagant and wondrous works available in such a superb and useful edition. Though neglected and even despised by literary historians of the novel, Aubin’s fictions are compelling examples of the important and immensely popular river of adventure stories that flowed throughout early modern Europe. David Brewer’s excellent introduction and well-curated supporting documents will help students and scholars reassess Aubin’s supposedly ‘bad’ novels within a broader, more expansive global history of ‘badass’ fiction.” — Scott Black, University of Utah

“Penelope Aubin’s wild, violent, thoroughly unembarrassed writing is one of the great hidden treasures of eighteenth-century literature. David Brewer has prepared a wonderfully clear-eyed and informative edition of two of her most teachable works. Aubin, who led a life touched by merchants, dissolute noblemen, and the occasional pirate, was so threatening to the establishment that a literary rival tried to proclaim she was dead years before her time. Her reputation suffered, however, when she was declared preemptively virtuous, thereby depriving generations of readers of her irreverent pleasures. This welcome edition goes a long way towards setting things right.” — Manushag Powell, Purdue University

Penelope Aubin: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Texts
A Note on Money

The Life of Madam de Beaumount

The Life of Charlotta Du Pont

Appendix A: Aubin Theorizing Her Own Work

  • From Penelope Aubin, The Strange Adventures of the Count de Vinevil and His Family (1721)
  • From Penelope Aubin, The Noble Slaves (1722)
  • From Penelope Aubin, The Life and Adventures of the Lady Lucy (1726)
  • From Penelope Aubin, The Illustrious French Lovers (1727), translation of Robert Challes, Les Illustres Françoises (1713)
  • From Penelope Aubin, The Life and Adventures of the Young Count Albertus (1728)
  • From Penelope Aubin, The Life of the Countess de Gondez (1729), translation of Marguerite de Lussan, Histoire de la comtesse de Gondez (1725)

Appendix B: Reshaping Aubin’s Reputation

  • 1. From Antoine François Prévost d’Exiles, Le Pour et contre (27 September 1734)
  • 2. From Penelope Aubin, A Collection of Entertaining Histories and Novels (1739)

Works Cited and Select Bibliography

David A. Brewer is Associate Professor of English at The Ohio State University. He is the editor of the Broadview Edition of The Rivals and Polly Honeycombe.