The Power of Sympathy; or, the Triumph of Nature Founded in Truth

William Hill Brown (1765 - 1793)

The Power of Sympathy was the first American novel, published in Boston in January 1789. An epistolary novel, it tells the tragic story of the relationship of an orphan girl and a man of good family, with a dramatic twist and tragic ending. It was inspired by an actual scandal in the Apthorp family of Boston, the "Ophelia" and "Martin" related within the story.

It was published anonymously, and there has been controversy over the authorship. For over a century his family kept the author's identity secret. Boston antiquarians eventually fixed upon the poet Sarah (Apthorp) Morton as the probable author, despite that she was the sister of the victim and married to the alleged seducer in the real-life scandal. In the autumn of 1894, after the edition used in this recording was published, William Hill Brown's niece broke the long silence and provided proofs that he was the author.
(Summary by TriciaG using public domain sources)

Cast List
Thomas Harrington: Larry Wilson
Myra Harrington: Devorah Allen
John Worthy: ToddHW
Harriot Fawcet: Jenn Broda
Mrs. Holmes: Availle
The Hon. Mr. Harrington: KevinS

Audio edited by: TriciaG

Genre(s): Dramatic Readings, Epistolary Fiction

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 Dedicatory, Editor’s Introduction, Preface, Dramatis Personae TriciaG
Play 02 Letters 1-3 ToddHW
Larry Wilson
Play 03 Letters 4-6 Group 00:06:44
Play 04 Letters 7-10 Group 00:09:18
Play 05 Letter 11 Availle
Play 06 Letters 12-13 Availle
Play 07 Letters 14-20 Larry Wilson
Play 08 Letters 21-24 Jenn Broda
Play 09 Letters 25-26 Devorah Allen
Play 10 Letters 27-28 ToddHW
Play 11 Letters 29-31 Availle
Play 12 Letters 32-38 Group 00:11:33
Play 13 Letter 39 Availle
Play 14 Letters 40-41 Availle
Larry Wilson
Play 15 Letters 42-48 Group 00:09:39
Play 16 Letter 49 KevinS
Play 17 Letter 50 Jenn Broda
Play 18 Letters 51-57 Larry Wilson
Devorah Allen
Play 19 Letters 58-62 ToddHW
Larry Wilson
Play 20 Letters 63-65 ToddHW
Larry Wilson