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

Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(4 stars; 4 reviews)

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 (4 hr 15 min)


Dedicatory, Editor’s Introduction, Preface, Dramatis Personae 11:51 Read by TriciaG
Letters 1-3 8:36 Read by ToddHW
Letters 4-6 6:44 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Letters 7-10 9:18 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Letter 11 24:42 Read by Availle
Letters 12-13 11:01 Read by Availle
Letters 14-20 12:55 Read by Larry Wilson
Letters 21-24 18:13 Read by Jenn Broda
Letters 25-26 8:40 Read by Devorah Allen
Letters 27-28 12:40 Read by ToddHW
Letters 29-31 15:43 Read by Availle
Letters 32-38 11:33 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Letter 39 26:06 Read by Availle
Letters 40-41 12:13 Read by Availle
Letters 42-48 9:39 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Letter 49 9:28 Read by KevinS
Letter 50 9:58 Read by Jenn Broda
Letters 51-57 13:24 Read by Larry Wilson
Letters 58-62 10:58 Read by ToddHW
Letters 63-65 11:23 Read by ToddHW