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“Michael J. Drexler’s splendidly documented, richly contextualized edition of Leonora Sansay’s Secret History and Laura is indispensable to anyone studying the. The opening sentence of Leonora Sansay’s epistolary novel, Secret History: during the early years of the Haitian Revolution.1 As a “secret history,” the novel. In this splendid edition, Michael Drexler republishes two strange and important narratives by the Philadelphia-based author Leonora Sansay. The first, Secret.

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Views Read Edit View history. Indeed, while both narratives deserve far more scholarly attention than they yet have received, the relative neglect of Secret Historyin particular, in the two centuries since its publication, is as worthy of remark as the text itself. Sansay appears in a March 1, news item in The Richmond Enquirer under one of her pseudonyms, Madame D’Auvergnean apparent francisation of her birth name Lronora.

Studies in American Fiction.

At some point in the mid- to late s she shows up in the Philadelphia City Directory for as “Eleonora Histroy, Gentlewoman “Sansay met Aaron Burrwho became her confidant and patron.

Further references to Leonora may be found under the names ” Clara ” and “Mme. See Thomas Abernethy, Burr Conspiracyp. Incidentally, it was Mary who has often been mistakenly credited with the authorship of Secret History and Laura the secrt derives from the name of the author-character of Secret History, also named Mary.

Leonora Sansay

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: He sent Leonora to visit Burr in Washington to obtain letters of recommendation and a passport for Louis. Burr continued to play an important role in Sansay’s life until she disappeared from the historical record. Compared to French metropolitan male observers who, by hisrory large, demonize mulatto women, Mary marvels at mixed race women’s wider range of social, sexual, and economic freedoms.

Welcoming Sansay into the canon means extending our discussions of difference beyond leonorx geographical borders of the US and hsitory her work within a larger revolutionary Sscret world. A notation on the flyleaf of an original edition of Secret History in the Library Company of Philadelphiareads partly accurate, partly inaccurate: The Secreg Love of Aaron Burrpp.

She was born Honora Davern in Philadelphia on December 11, to Rosa and William Davern, the latter of whom died at sea a few weeks after her birth, probably in January Sansqy I believe the Cape in a few Days — She is the Lady of whom you may have heard me speak under the Name of Leonora, married about two years ago to Mr.


She next played a part in Burr’s alleged —07 conspiracyfor which he was indicted and acquitted for high misdemeanor and treason in Many of them are extremely beautiful; and, being destined from their birth to a life of pleasure, they are taught to heighten the power of their charms by all the aids of art.

Considered solely for its subject matter, this should already have become an indispensable text for historians and literary scholars alike. Finally, on April 2, Louis wrote Burr with hiatory anxiety” about Leonora, saying it had been nine days and he had received only one letter from her, claiming he feared she was ill, but contradicting himself by charging her with “flightineses and fickleness” and claiming “I tremble that her intention is to abandon me.

Students at a variety of levels will learn much from this edition. Journal of the Early Republic. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

She set up a flower manufacturing business with the help of Eric Bollman. This fact, now so obvious, is deeply disturbing and revelatory for Mary and Clara. The historical documents collected in this edition bring into focus the complex and compelling historical and literary interconnections between the U.

Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

Secret History; or, The Horrors of St. Domingo and Laura – Broadview Press

Subscribe To Our Newsletter Name. Domingo Laura Appendix A: Secret History; or, The Horrors of St. A clear and cogent introduction makes the leonira a particular pleasure to teach to the former group Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves.

Both were published in London, but indicate that they were transmitted from America. Davis, Memoirs of Aaron Burr, 2: Leonora returned to Louis and the couple embarked for Haiti in late May or early June. Zelica, the Creole and The Scarlet Handkerchief Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. The reprinting of Leonora Sansay’s Secret History testifies to an increasing critical interest in early American prose fiction’s generic complexities; it also marks a wider scope for the study of early American literature. sanssy

While recent criticism has debated the appropriate generic label for Sansay’s extraordinarily slippery text as well as its place within the archive of materials on the Haitian Revolution, there has been relatively little work contextualizing Sansay’s comparative assessments of various classes of women in Saint-Domingue. After departing Haiti, Leonora and Louis lived for a time in Cuba.


He goes on to argue that the complex itinerary of the narrative—which pursues its female protagonists from Philadelphia to Saint Domingue, Cuba, and Jamaica and back to Philadelphia—must be integral to any reading.

Sansay a reputable french Merch[an]t. This edition places issues of Atlantic race slavery, republican revolution, colonialism, and gender relations squarely at the center of early American literature and culture and makes readily available texts that will become required reading in the fields of Atlantic and early American studies. Moreover, as Mary and Clara query the differences between Caribbean and US women’s romantic lives, they grasp the arbitrary nature of gender power and gender performance.

Leonora Sansay (Sansay, Leonora, ) | The Online Books Page

The republication of these works will contribute to a significant revision of thinking about early American literary history. I have taught the edition with good success to classes of advanced undergraduates and graduate students.

Sansay makes periodic appearances in Burr’s correspondence, though the vast majority of these letters have been lost. Burr shared her letters with Jeremy Bentham while in exile in Europe after swcret acquittal. To put it simply, they discover the profound truth that there is more than one way to be a woman. Two other novels may be attributed to Sansay: While this attention to romance may strike some readers as a distraction from the real business of describing “the horrors” of economic, political, and racial turmoil in early nineteenth-century Saint-Domingue, Mary and Clara’s focus on women’s sexual lives is, I would argue, precisely what makes this text worth studying.

Both compete for white men’s affections as well as the prestige, wealth, and consumer goods that such relationships bring. As Colin Dayan first observed, one of the signal achievements of the narrative is to make visible the tight interconnectedness within a Secreg slave society between social and sexual rivalry in the so-called domestic sphere and the more visible and public conflict for military and political control Haiti, History, and the GodsBerkeley, CA, Learn more about ebooks here.