'Self Control' (1811) was a literary sensation, going into four
editions in its first year. The first novelist to set her story
against a strong Scottish background, Brunton set the scene for
other writers such as Walter Scott. It is a work of evangelical
fiction. Brunton's heroine, Laura Monteville, is a religious but
independent-minded woman, able to acknowledge desire whilst
reflecting on her relationship with God. As well as being
entertaining, the novel offers its readers a thought-provoking
exploration of early 19th-century attitudes towards gender and
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