‘Mrs. Southworth’ was Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte (1819-1899).
‘Retribution; or The Vale of Shadows: A Tale of Passion’ was a novel written by E.D.E.N. Southworth in 1849. It was serialized in The National Era in 1849 and was published in book form the same year. Encouraged by the enormous success of ‘Retribution’, E.D.E.N. Southworth quit teaching to write full time, publishing twelve best-selling novels in the next seven years despite her own and her children’s recurring illnesses.