BRITISH FICTION, 1800–1829:
A D
ATABASE OF PRODUCTION AND RECEPTION
PHASE II: ANECDOTAL COMMENTS

Jacqueline Belanger, Peter Garside, Anthony Mandal

This project report is a summary of data collected from various anecdotal sources for inclusion in our Database of British Fiction, 1800–29. The material provided below was gathered between February 2000 and May 2001, from thirty sources, with an equal weighting of male–female-authored texts. As it stands, this checklist—essentially a snapshot of our research to date—comprises comments on 124 novels from a variety of commentators, such Jane Austen, Lord Byron, Susan Ferrier, and Walter Scott. At present, these records represent a very small fraction of the amount of material available for examination. With the allocation of nearly £250,000 from the Arts and Humanities Research Board in May 2001, the project team is now able to move beyond the terms of the original pilot project (operating February 2000–September 2001), and begin the task of collating a much larger quantity of anecdotal materials. Further project updates will be posted, although our long-term aim is to make the resulting data (along with other similar information, such as reviews, circulating-library lists, publisher details) available as a fully searchable web-database by the middle of 2004.

The entries which follow the list of sources (immediately after this preamble) employ the following formula: The author name and short-title of the novel commented upon are followed by date and reference number matching that of the full entry in The English Novel, 1770–1829: A Bibliographical Survey of Prose Fiction Published in the British Isles, edd. Peter Garside, James Raven, and Rainer Schöwerling, 2 vols. (Oxford: OUP, 2000).  Indented beneath the header entry, are the actual anecdotal comments themselves, as well as full bibliographical details of the quotation.

In addition to collecting data, we have been developing a rigorous methodology to ensure the integrity and accuracy of transcriptions from sources. Please note, however, that because this has been an organic process, the list as it stands is provisional: for the time being, we would advise users of the list to refer back to the original source for absolute accuracy. At the same time, we would also appreciate due acknowledgement, as appropriate, where materials first discovered here by other scholars are used or developed in their own publications.

We would also like to take this occasion to invite members of the academic community to contribute towards the collection of these comments. A downloadable data entry form is available from our ‘Downloads’ section, in both Rich Text Format (RTF) and Adobe Acrobat format (PDF). For small comments, we would ask that you fill in the form as appropriate and supply Xeroxes of the anecdote along with the form. Where the collection of comments in the source/s is extensive, a general comment on the extent of commentaries and full bibliographical details of the source would be equally appreciated. All contributors will be gratefully acknowledged, in both interim publications and the final database itself.

The Database of English Fiction, 1800–1829 is supervised by Professor Peter Garside, and is currently being developed by Dr Jacqueline Belanger, Anthony Mandal, with additional guidance from Professor David Skilton. Thanks are also due to Gillian Garside for collection of much of the anecdotal data to date, and Tim Killick for processing the materials included in this checklist.


Sources

  1. Jane Austen’s Letters, ed. Deirdre Le Faye (1932; 3rd edn., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996).

  2. Collected Letters of Joanna Baillie, ed. Judith Bailey Slagle, 2 vols. (Madison, NJ: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, and London and Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Press, 1999).

  3. Lady Charlotte Bury, The Diary of a Lady-In-Waiting, ed. A. F. Steuart, 2 vols. (London and New York: John Lane, 1908).

  4. The Letters of Lord Byron, ed. R. G. Howarth (London: J. M. Dent and Sons, 1936).

  5. Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie A. Marchand, 13 vols. (London: John Murray, 1973–94).

  6. The Letters of Princess Charlotte, 1811–1817, ed. A. Aspinal (London: Home and Van Thal, 1949).

  7. Selected Letters and Journals of George Crabbe, ed. Thomas C. Faulkner (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985).

  8. The Croker Papers: Correspondence and Diaries of John Wilson Croker, ed. Louis J. Jennings, 3 vols. (London: John Murray, 1884).

  9. The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894).

  10. Maria Edgeworth: Letters from England 1813–1844, ed. Christina Colvin (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971).

  11. Memoir and Correspondence of Susan Ferrier. 1782–1854. Collected by her Grandnephew John Ferrier, ed. John A. Doyle (London: Eveleigh, Nash and Grayson, 1929).

  12. Memoirs and Correspondence of Mrs Grant of Laggan, ed. J. P. Laggan, 3 vols. (London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1844).

  13. R. P. Gillies, Memoirs of a Literary Veteran 1794–1849, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1851).

  14. S. C. Hall, Retrospect of a Long Life: From 1815–1883, 2 vols. (London: Richard Bentley and Son, 1883).

  15. I Know My Own Heart: The Diaries of Anne Lister 1791–1840, ed. Helena Whitbread (London: Virago Press, 1988).

  16. Dorothy McMillan (ed.), The Scotswoman at Home and Abroad: Non-Fictional Writing 1700–1900 (Glasgow: Association for Scottish Literary Studies, 1999).

  17. The Life of Mary Russell Mitford: Related in a Selection from her Letters to her Friends, ed. A. G. L’Estrange, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1870).

  18. Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862).

  19. Patrick Joseph Murray, The Life of John Banim (London: William Lay, 1857).

  20. A Regency Visitor: The English Tour of Prince Pückler-Muskau, Described in his Letters, 1826–1828, ed. E. M. Butler (London: Collins, 1957).

  21. Cyrus Redding, Fifty Years’ Recollections, 3 vols. (London: Charles J. Skeet, 1858).

  22. The Diary of Henry Crabb Robinson: An Abridgement, ed. Derek Hudson (London: Oxford University Press, 1967).

  23. Recollections of the Table-Talk of Samuel Rogers. First Collected by Alexander Dyce, ed. Morchard Bishop (London: Richards Press Ltd, 1952).

  24. The Private Letter Books of Sir Walter Scott, ed. Wilfred Partington (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1930).

  25. Sir Walter Scott’s Post-Bag, ed. Wilfred Partington (London: John Murray, 1932).

  26. The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, ed. W. E. K. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972).

  27. The Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, ed. Betty T. Bennett, 3 vols. (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980–88).

  28. Letters of Sydney Smith, ed. Nowell C. Smith, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953).

  29. The Early Married Life of Maria Josepha, Lady Stanley, ed. Jane H. Adeane (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1899).

  30. Memoirs and Poetical Remains of the Late Jane Taylor, ed. Isaac Taylor (London: Holdsworth, 1826).


British Fiction, 1800–29: Anecdotal Comments

EDGEWORTH, Maria. CASTLE RACKRENT (1800: 30)

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Mary Snead. London, 27 Sep 1802: ‘We proceeded to Leicester. Handsome town, good shops: walked whilst dinner was getting ready to a circulating library. My father asked for “Belinda”, “Bulls”, etc., found they were in good repute—Castle Rackrent is better—the others often borrowed, but Castle Rackrent often bought.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), I, 83.

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Edgeworth. 3 Apr 1822: ‘the Marquis of Londonderry, who by his own account had been dying some time with impatience to be introduced to us; talked much of Castle Rackrent, etc.; and of Ireland.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), II, 72.

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Ruxton. 7 Aug 1822: ‘How many things we have talked over together! Rackrent especially, which you first suggested to me, and encouraged me to go on with.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), II, 88.

Samuel Carter Hall: ‘We must turn to the novels of the period for the Master Jacks, and Miss Biddys of this class; such a social phenomena are now things of the past. In the works of all Irish writers are to be found portraits of the reckless Irish gentleman of sixty years ago. I may instance the “Castle Rackrent” of Maria Edgeworth as containing a well-drawn example of this improvident order. The hero in question is a true type of the gentry of this period, who were always in need of money, and whose fixed idea was that it must be had “anyhow”—the anyhow implying that tenants were to be racked to the utmost and loans raised as long as there was a scrap of security left to borrow on.’
Source: S. C. Hall, Retrospect of a Long Life: From 1815–1883, 2 vols. (London: Richard Bentley and Son, 1883), II, 315.

EDGEWORTH, Maria. BELINDA (1801: 24)

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Mary Snead. London, 27 Sep 1802: ‘We proceeded to Leicester. Handsome town, good shops: walked whilst dinner was getting ready to a circulating library. My father asked for “Belinda”, “Bulls”, etc., found they were in good repute—Castle Rackrent is better—the others often borrowed, but Castle Rackrent often bought.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), I, 83.

WEST, Jane. INFIDEL FATHER, THE (1802: 60)

Letter from Maria Josepha, Lady Stanley to Serena. 20 Jan 1803: ‘The “Infidel Father” I have read likewise. I am sorry to say, as I fear it may shock you, that I expect more entertainment from “Delphine” which I have not as yet seen.’
Source: The Early Married Life of Maria Josepha, Lady Stanley, ed. Jane H. Adeane (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1899), p. 251.

OWENSON, Sydney [afterwards MORGAN, Lady Sydney]. ST CLAIR; OR, THE HEIRESS OF DESMOND (1803: 55)

Letter from Lady Morgan to Mrs Lefanu. 12 Jan 1803: ‘Have you, indeed, read St. Clair a third time? You have touched me where I am most vulnerable. I cannot conceive how you can think my hero and heroine dangerous; to have rendered them such I must have been myself not a little so; yet you know long since I am the most harmless of all human beings.’
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), I, 231.

Letter from Lady Morgan to Miss M. Featherstone. Strabane, 15 June 1803: ‘I am sure you will be glad to hear that I have got a price far beyond my most sanguine wishes for St. Clair. Mr. Harding, of Pall Mall, says, it will be done in a very superior style, and will certainly be at Archer’s in three weeks. Mrs Colbert wrote to me about Nina, but her terms were too low. The Minstrel goes on famously, I think you will like it best of all,—it is full of incidents.’
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), I, 237.

Letter from Lady Morgan to Mrs Lefanu. Strabane, 9 Dec 1803: ‘I had yesterday a letter (four pages long) from Lady Clonbrock, with an account of St. Clair’s reception at Bath and Bristol. It is just such as I knew you would wish for the bantling, who first sought protection and countenance from yourself.’
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), II, 239.

Letter from Maria Josepha, Lady Stanley to Louisa. 7 Feb 1806: ‘I have read “St. Clair”, and I so dearly love the sentimental that many passages please me much; but my sober old fellow has so lost his taste for these kind of things that he would not finish it.’
Source: The Early Married Life of Maria Josepha, Lady Stanley, ed. Jane H. Adeane (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1899), p. 285.

PORTER, Jane. THADDEUS OF WARSAW (1803: 59)

Robert Pierce Gillies: ‘On the publication of “Thadeus of Warsaw”, many years earlier, I remember that our exemplary world, owlish and obtuse as it usually is in detecting the finer shades of excellence, was yet undeniably struck. “Thadeus” conquered even the sarcastic coldness of wise, wicked John Clerk; for I recollect his recommending and praising it very seriously as the best new romance that he had met with for many a day.’
Source: R. P. Gillies, Memoirs of a Literary Veteran 1794–1849, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1851), II, 213.

Samuel Carter Hall:The Scottish Chiefs was Jane Porter’s most famous work. Who reads it now? Who knows even by name Thaddeus of Warsaw? or who can talk about The Pastor’s Fireside? Yet seventy years ago those works were of such account that the first Napoleon, on political grounds, paid Jane Porter the high compliment of prohibiting the circulation of Thaddeus of Warsaw in France.’
Source: S. C. Hall, Retrospect of a Long Life: from 1815–1883, 2 vols. (London: Richard Bentley and Son, 1883), II, 144.

STAËL-HOLSTEIN, Anne Louise Germaine de. DELPHINE (1803: 67)

Letter from Maria Josepha, Lady Stanley to Serena. 20 Jan 1803: ‘The “Infidel Father” I have read likewise. I am sorry to say, as I fear it may shock you, that I expect more entertainment from “Delphine” which I have not as yet seen.’
Source: The Early Married Life of Maria Josepha, Lady Stanley, ed. Jane H. Adeane (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1899), p. 251.

EDGEWORTH, Maria. POPULAR TALES (1804: 17)

Letter from Maria Josepha, Lady Stanley to Louisa. 16 Sep 1804: ‘Have you read Miss Edgeworth’s “Popular Tales”? If not, get them as fast as possible; they are equal to anything yet published by her. There is one story that is my delight—“The Limerick Gloves”.’
Source: The Early Married Life of Maria Josepha, Lady Stanley, ed. Jane H. Adeane (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1899), p. 275.

Letter from Mary Russell Mitford to Sir William Elford, Bart. Bertram House, 29 Sep 1810: ‘Miss Edgeworth has done more good both to the higher and lower world than any writer since the days of Addison. She shoots at “folly as it flies” with the strong bolt of ridicule, and seldom misses her aim. Perhaps you will think that I betray a strange want of taste when I confess that, much as I admire the polished satire and nice discrimination of character in the “Tales of Fashionable Life”, I prefer the homely pathos and plain morality of her “Popular Tales” to any part of her last publication. The story of “Rosanna” is particularly delightful to me; and that of “To-morrow” made so deep an impression on my mind […] that I really think that tale would have cured me of my evil habits.’
Source: The Life of Mary Russell Mitford: Related in a Selection from her Letters to her Friends, ed. A. G. L’Estrange, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1870), I, 108–09.

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Miss Ruxton. 31 Mar 1835: ‘Harriet told me, my dear Sophy, that she found you in bed, reading Popular Tales, or some of my old things—thank you, thank you, my dear, for loving them.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), II, 265.

PORTER, Anna Maria. LAKE OF KILLARNEY, THE (1804: 57)

Letter from Jane Austen to Cassandra. Castle Square [Southampton], 24–25 Oct 1808: ‘and Edward [Austen’s nephew] equally intent over the “Lake of Killarney,” twisting himself about in one of our great chairs.’
Source: Jane Austen’s Letters, ed. Deirdre Le Faye (1932; 3rd edn., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 151.

EDGEWORTH, Maria. LEONORA (1806: 29)

Henry Crabb Robinson, Diary entry. 20 June 1811: ‘Finished Miss Edgeworth’s Leonora. It is one of her least agreeable [narratives]. There is a great coarseness in the contrast between the good wife and the seductive mistress […] It wants the comic [6] talent Miss Edgeworth so frequently displays, and as a novel is dull and tiresome’.
Source: The Diary of Henry Crabb Robinson: An Abridgement, ed. Derek Hudson (London: Oxford University Press, 1967), pp. 5–6.

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Miss Charlotte Sneyd. Byrkley Lodge, 19 Apr 1813: ‘When Miss Seward began to read Leonora she was charmed with the character of Lady Olivia—said it was so eloquent! so feeling! so delightful! But when she went on with it and found that Lady Olivia is ridiculed she was enraged with me beyond measure.
Source: Maria Edgeworth: Letters from England 1813–1844, ed. Christina (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), p. 23.

GENLIS, Stéphanie Félicité, Comtesse de. ALPHONSINE (1806: 31)

Letter from Jane Austen to Cassandra. Southampton, 7–8 Jan 1807: ‘ “Alphonsine” did not do. We were disgusted in twenty pages, as, independent of a bad translation, it has indelicacies which disgrace a pen hitherto so pure; [116] and we changed it for the “Female Quixote”, which now makes our evening amusement; to me a very high one, as I find the work quite equal to what I remembered it. Miss F. A. to whom it is new, enjoys it as one could wish’.
Source: Jane Austen’s Letters, ed. Deirdre Le Faye (1932; 3rd edn., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 115–16.

OPIE, Amelia Alderson. SIMPLE TALES (1806: 52)

Letter from Mary Russell Mitford to Dr Mitford. Bertram House, 24 May 1806: ‘We have been reading Miss Opie’s “Simple Tales” and are greatly pleased with them.’
Source: The Life of Mary Russell Mitford: Related in a Selection from her Letters to her Friends, ed. A. G. L’Estrange, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1870), I, 36.

OWENSON, Sydney [afterwards MORGAN, Lady Sydney]. NOVICE OF SAINT DOMINICK, THE (1806: 53)

Letter from Sir Richard Phillips to Sydney Owenson. 16 Oct 1805: ‘Every one speaks highly of the Novice of St. Dominic, but their praise is always qualified by the remark that it would have few equals in this line, if it were reduced one entire volume in length’. [Editor’s comment (i, 256): ‘The Novice of St. Dominic was a favourite of Mr. Pitt, and he read it over again in his last illness, a piece of good fortune for a book of which any author might be proud.’]
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), I, 255.

Letter from Sir Richard Phillips to Sydney Owenson. 26 Apr 1806: ‘I shall be glad to receive the [274] revised copy of the Novice of St. Dominic as soon as possible, because it is likely that my little Irish Girl may give new vogue to her elder sister.’
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), I, 273–74.

Lady Charlotte Bury,
Diary entry. Jan 1816: ‘Lady [——] and myself discussed the merit of Miss Owenson, and agreed, as I believe most people do, in thinking her a very extraordinary woman, with genius of a very high stamp. When I told Lady [——] I had never read the Novice of St. Dominic, she was much surprised, and said, “Read it without delay, for the enthusiasm and exquisite sentiments which are conspicuous throughout the whole work, will enchant you. It is a most fascinating book.” ’
Source: Lady Charlotte Bury, The Diary of a Lady-In-Waiting, ed. A. F. Steuart, 2 vols. (London and New York: John Lane, 1908), II, 85.

Letter from Madame Patterson Bonaparte to Lady Morgan. Paris, 28 Nov 1816: ‘I have been asking after the Novice of St. Dominic, but it has not been seen by any of your friends yet. The Missionary everyone knows, par coeur.’
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), II, 46.

OWENSON, Sydney [afterwards MORGAN, Lady Sydney]. WILD IRISH GIRL, THE (1806: 54)

Letter from Sir Richard Phillips to Sydney Owenson. 18 Apr 1806: ‘I will give two hundred pounds for the Wild Irish Girl, now, and fifty pounds on the publication of the second and the third editions respectively’.
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), I, 271.

Letter from Sir Richard Phillips to Sydney Owenson. 26 Apr 1806: ‘I shall be glad to receive the [274] revised copy of the Novice of St Dominic as soon as possible, because it is likely that my little Irish Girl may give new vogue to her elder sister.’
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), I, 273–74.

Letter from Sir Richard Phillips to Sydney Owenson. 12 May 1806: ‘I have promised your noble and magnanimous friend, Atkinson, the three hundred pounds. His appeal was irresistible, and the Wild Irish Girl is mine, to do with as I please!’
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), I, 275.

Letter from Sir Richard Phillips to Sydney Owenson. Bridge Street, London, 29 Sep 1806: ‘The Wild Irish Girl begins to move as it ought and as I could wish. Another month’s sale equal to this last will occasion me to begin to think of a new edition. Charles Watson read the proofs, and he has great skill in your topics. Send me your corrections directly and I will use them.’
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), I, 292.

Letter from Richard Lovell Edgeworth to Sydney Owenson. Edgeworth House, 23 Dec 1806: ‘I have just read your Wild Irish Girl, a title which will attract by its novelty, but which does not well suit the charming character of Glorvina […] [294] Maria, who reads (it is said), as well as she writes, has entertained us with several passages from the Wild Irish Girl, which I thought superior to any parts of the book which I had read. Upon looking over her shoulder, I found she had omitted some superfluous epithets. Dare she have done this if you had been by? I think she would have dared; because your good taste and good sense would have been instantly her defenders.’
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), I, 293–94.

Letter from Jane Austen to Cassandra. Castle Square [Southampton], 17–18 Jan 1809: ‘To set against your new Novel, of which nobody even heard before & perhaps never may again, We have got Ida of Athens by Miss Owenson; which must be very clever, because it was written as the Authoress says, in three months.—We have only read the Preface yet; but her Irish Girl does not make me expect much.—If the warmth of her Language could affect the Body, it might be worth reading in this weather.’
Source: Jane Austen’s Letters, ed. Deirdre Le Faye (1932; 3rd edn., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 166.

SURR, Thomas Skinner. WINTER IN LONDON, A (1806: 64)

Samuel Rogers: ‘The Duchess [of Devonshire] was dreadfully hurt at the novel A Winter in London; it contained various anecdotes which had been picked up from her confidential attendants; and she thought, of course, that the little great world in which she lived was intimately acquainted with all her proceedings. “Never read that book, for it helped to kill me,” were her words to a very near relative.’
Source: Recollections of the Table-Talk of Samuel Rogers. First Collected by Alexander Dyce, ed. Morchard Bishop (London: Richards Press Ltd, 1952), p. 138.

STAËL-HOLSTEIN, Anne Louise Germaine de. CORINNA, OR ITALY (1807: 63)

Letter from Maria Josepha, Lady Stanley to Louisa. 9 Aug 1807: ‘Have you read “Corinne”, Madame de Stael’s new novel, for which it is said she was banished to Copet, in consequence of Buonaparte’s displeasure at the preference given to the English character in the work.’
Source: The Early Married Life of Maria Josepha, Lady Stanley, ed. Jane H. Adeane (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1899), p. 294.

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Miss Ruxton. Apr 1808: ‘I have read Corinne with my father, and like it better than he does. In one word, I am dazzled by the genius, provoked by the absurdities, and in admiration of the taste and critical judgement of Italian literature displayed through the whole work […] I almost broke my foolish heart over the end of the third volume, and my father acknowledges he never read anything more pathetic.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), I, 156.

Letter from Jane Austen to Cassandra. Castle Square [Southampton], 27–28 Dec 1808: ‘I recommended him [Mr Fitzhugh] to read Corinna.’
Source: Jane Austen’s Letters, ed. Deirdre Le Faye (1932; 3rd edn., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 161.

Letter from Lord Byron to the Hon. Augusta Leigh. Venice, 28 Nov 1818: ‘The Guiccioli (his mistress) was romantic and had read “Corinna”—in short she was a kind of Italian Caroline Lamb—but very pretty and gentle, at least to me. […] I found her a good deal altered (Guiccioli) but getting better:—all this comes from reading Corinna.’
Source: The Letters of Lord Byron, ed. R. G. Howarth (London: J. M. Dent and Sons, 1936), pp. 240 and 245.

Letter from Lord Byron to Countess Teresa Guiccioli. 4 Aug 1821: [Translation] ‘Without translating so many pages of Corinne or forcing so great a semblance of romance, I assure you that I love you as I always have loved you’.
Source: Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie A. Marchand, 13 vols. (London: John Murray, 1973–94), VIII, 170.

Letter from Anne Chalmers to Anne Parker. St Andrews, May 1827: ‘I hope you will write often for the pleasure of reading your letters is somewhat similar to that of reading Corinne.’
Source: The Scotswoman at Home and Abroad: Non-Fictional Writing 1700–1900, ed. Dorothy McMillan (Glasgow: Association for Scottish Literary Studies, 1999), pp. 193–201.

HAMILTON, Elizabeth. COTTAGERS OF GLENBURNIE, THE (1808: 52)

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Miss Ruxton. 2 Feb 1809: ‘This minute I hear a carman going to Navan, and I hasten to send you the Cottagers of Glenburnie, which I hope you will like as well as we do. I think it will do a vast deal of good, and besides is extremely interesting, which all good books are not; it has great powers, both comic and tragic.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), I, 160.

MORE, Hannah. CŒLEBS IN SEARCH OF A WIFE (1808: 81)

Letter from Jane Austen to Cassandra. Castle Square [Southampton], 24 Jan 1809: ‘You have by no means raised my curiosity [170] after Caleb;—My disinclination for it before was affected, but now it is real; I do not like the Evangelicals.—Of course I shall be delighted when I read it, like other people, but till I do I dislike it.’
Source: Jane Austen’s Letters, ed. Deirdre Le Faye (1932; 3rd edn., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 169–70.

Letter from Jane Austen to Cassandra. Castle Square [Southampton], 30 Jan 1809: ‘I am not at all ashamed about the name of the Novel, having been guilty of no insult towards your handwriting; the Dipthong I always saw, but knowing how fond you were of adding a vowel whenever you could, I attributed it to that alone—& the knowledge of the truth does the book no service;—the only merit it could have, was in the name of Caleb which has an honest, unpretending sound; but in Coelebs, there is pedantry & affectation—Is it written only to Classical Scholars?’
Source: Jane Austen’s Letters, ed. Deirdre Le Faye (1932; 3rd edn., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 172.

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Edgeworth. 30 Oct 1821: ‘Breakfasted like ladies at 10—staid till two reading books in the Royal Oak inn library—“Coelebs”—Harriet—“Sentimental journey” Fanny […] I whiled away the hours writing the lines enclosed on “The travellers lamp” and between this and Coelebs and Sentimental journey we amused ourselves by watching at our gazebo window the arrival or departure of 10 or 12 stage coaches—’.
Source: Maria Edgeworth: Letters from England 1813–1844, ed. Christina Colvin (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), p. 249.

Cyrus Redding: ‘That such a work should have gone through many editions, must be ascribed to the author’s previous writings now nearly forgotten. She exerted herself extensively in the cause of common sense and benevolence, but I thought her somewhat presumptuous to meddle with a state of life of which she had no experience.’
Source: Cyrus Redding, Fifty Years’ Recollections, 3 vols. (London: Charles J. Skeet, 1858), I, 142.

EDGEWORTH, Maria. TALES OF FASHIONABLE LIFE (1809: 22)

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Miss Ruxton. June 1809: ‘A copy of Tales of Fashionable Life reached us yesterday in a Foster frank: they looked well enough,—not very good paper, but better than Popular Tales.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), I, 166.

Letter from Susan Ferrier to Miss Clavering. 26 July 1809: ‘Have you read Edgeworth’s “Fashionable Tales”? I like the two first, but none of the others. It is high time all good ladies and grateful little girls should be returned to their gilt boards, and as for sentimental weavers and moralising glovers, I recommend them as penny ware for the pedlar’.
Source: Memoir and Correspondence of Susan Ferrier. 1782–1854. Collected by her Grandnephew John Ferrier, ed. John A. Doyle (London: Eveleigh, Nash and Grayson, 1929), p. 65.

Letter from Mary Russell Mitford to Sir William Elford, Bart. Bertram House, 29 Sep 1810: ‘Miss Edgeworth has done more good both to the higher and lower world than any writer since the days of Addison. She shoots at “folly as it flies” with the strong bolt of ridicule, and seldom misses her aim. Perhaps you will think that I betray a strange want of taste when I confess that, much as I admire the polished satire and nice discrimination of character in the “Tales of Fashionable Life”, I prefer the homely pathos and plain morality of her “Popular Tales” to any part of her last publication.’
Source: The Life of Mary Russell Mitford: Related in a Selection from her Letters to her Friends, ed. A. G. L’Estrange, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1870), I, 108–09.

Letter from Mary Russell Mitford to Sir William Elford, Bart. Bertram House, 12 July 1812: ‘I have just finished reading Miss Edgeworth (Tales of Fashionable Life), and I am delighted. Lady Julia is a sentimentalist of the first order, and has, of course, no small dash of folly mixed up with her eloquence. But Lady Sarah is Miss Edgeworth’s chef-d’oeuvre.’
Source: The Life of Mary Russell Mitford: Related in a Selection from her Letters to her Friends, ed. A. G. L’Estrange, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1870), I, 203.

OWENSON, Sydney [afterwards MORGAN, Lady Sydney]. WOMAN: OR, IDA OF ATHENS (1809: 55)

Letter from Jane Austen to Cassandra. Castle Square [Southampton], 17 Jan 1809: ‘To set against your new Novel, of which nobody even heard before & perhaps never may again, We have got Ida of Athens by Miss Owenson; which must be very clever, because it was written as the Authoress says, in three months.—We have only read the Preface yet; but her Irish Girl does not make me expect much.—If the warmth of her Language could affect the Body it might be worth reading in this weather.’
Source: Jane Austen’s Letters, ed. Deirdre Le Faye (1932; 3rd edn., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 166.

Letter from the Countess of Charleville to Miss Owenson. 1 May 1809: ‘I read Ida before it was all issued from the press, a volume being sent to me as soon as sewed; and I read it with the same conviction of the existence of excellent talent, great descriptive powers; and in this work I find particular ingenuity, in the novel attempt to interest us for a woman that loved two; and for each of the lovers, the episode was happily contrived in this plan and executed with great taste and spirit.’
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), I, 366.

Letter from the Marchioness of Abercorn to Sir Walter Scott. 12 Jan 1810: ‘We have Miss Owenson still here. She is certainly entertaining and clever. Did you review her last Novel? [Editor notes The Wild Irish Girl; but actually Woman]. She thinks you did. She wishes very much you did not hold her talents so cheap. I tell her you would not if you knew her; for, tho’ superior you are yourself to all living poets, you are the best natured man existing, and more ready to allow Genius than any one I know.’
Source: The Private Letter Books of Sir Walter Scott, ed. Wilfred Partington (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1930), p. 138.

Conversation between Lady [——] and Lady Charlotte Bury. 4 Nov 1817: ‘ “At that time,” continued Lady [——], “all the world were engaged in reading Ida of Athens. I think it was likely to please a vivid imagination, but would displease the matter of fact reader. The language is, in my opinion, pedantic, and fatigues the eye and ear with a constant glitter of high flown words; though some parts of it are doubtless very beautiful. But the sentiments are so bedizened with tinsel that they are hardly to be made out.’
Source: Lady Charlotte Bury, The Diary of a Lady-In-Waiting, ed. A. F. Steuart, 2 vols. (London and New York: John Lane, 1908), II, 114.

PORTER, Jane. SCOTTISH CHIEFS, THE (1810: 68)

Letter from Mary Russell Mitford to Sir William Elford, Bart. Bertram House, 13 Dec 1812: ‘Indeed, I scarcely know how one héros de roman, whom it is possible to admire, except Wallace in Miss Porter’s “Scottish Chiefs”.’
Source: The Life of Mary Russell Mitford: Related in a Selection from her Letters to her Friends, ed. A. G. L’Estrange, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1870), I, 217.

Lady
Charlotte Bury, Diary entry. [1814]: ‘Madame de C[—–] praised Miss Porter’s “Scottish Chiefs,” and said, it quite montéd her imagination about Scotch persons and Scotland. Had she known the excellent and high-minded authoress, she would have added an additional note of praise on the rare character of the writer.’
Source: Lady Charlotte Bury, The Diary of a Lady-In-Waiting, ed. A. F. Steuart, 2 vols. (London and New York: John Lane, 1908), I, 295.

Samuel Carter Hall:The Scottish Chiefs was Jane Porter’s most famous work. Who reads it now? Who knows even by name Thaddeus of Warsaw? or who can talk about The Pastor’s Fireside? Yet seventy years ago those works were of such account that the first Napoleon, on political grounds, paid Jane Porter the high compliment of prohibiting the circulation of Thaddeus of Warsaw in France.
Source: S. C. Hall, Retrospect of a Long Life: from 1815–1883, 2 vols. (London: Richard Bentley and Son, 1883), II, 144.

AUSTEN, Jane. SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (1811: 16)

Letter from Princess Charlotte. W. H. [Warwick House], 22 Jan 1812: ‘ “Sense and Sensibility” I have just finished reading; it certainly is interesting, & you feel quite one of the company. I think Marianne & me are very like in disposition, that certainly I am not so good, the same imprudence, etc., however remain very like. I must say it interested me much.’
Source: The Letters of Princess Charlotte, 1811–1817, ed. A. Aspinal (London: Home and Van Thal, 1949), p. 26.

BRUNTON, Mary. SELF-CONTROL (1811: 25)

Letter from Jane Austen to Cassandra. Sloane St [London], 30 Apr 1811: ‘We have tried to get Self-controul, but in vain.—I should like to know what her [Mrs Knight’s] estimate is—but am always half afraid of finding a clever novel too clever—& of finding my own story & my own people all forestalled.’
Source: Jane Austen’s Letters, ed. Deirdre Le Faye (1932; 3rd edn., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 186.

Letter from Jane Austen to Cassandra. Godmersham Park, 11 Oct 1813: ‘I am looking over Self Control again, & my opinion is confirmed of its’ being an excellently-meant, elegantly-written work, without anything of Nature or Probability in it. I declare I do not know whether Laura’s passage down the American River is not the most natural, possible, every day thing she ever does.’
Source: Jane Austen’s Letters, ed. Deirdre Le Faye (1932; 3rd edn., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 234.

Letter from Jane Austen to Anna Austen. ?24 Nov 1814: ‘Mrs Creed’s opinion is gone down on my list; but fortunately I may excuse myself from entering Mr [cut out] as my paper only [283] relates to Mansfield Park. I will redeem my credit with him, by writing a close Imitation of “Self-control” as soon as I can;—I will improve upon it;—my Heroine shall not merely be wafted down an American river in a boat by herself, she shall cross the Atlantic in the same way, & never stop till she reaches Gravesent [sic].’
Source: Jane Austen’s Letters, ed. Deirdre Le Faye (1932; 3rd edn., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 282–83.

Unsigned letter to Lady Charlotte Bury. Quoted in diary entry dated 5 Nov 1817: ‘ “Discipline” is to come out, by the authoress of “Self Control”. It is very good, and I like it better than the other by the same writer. […] I am to meet the authoress, Mrs. Brunton, to-night; but I am told she has no conversational powers.’
Source: Lady Charlotte Bury, The Diary of a Lady-In-Waiting, ed. A. F. Steuart, 2 vols. (London and New York: John Lane, 1908), II, 122.

Unsigned letter to Charlotte Bury. 6 Mar 1820: ‘Mr. [——] told me they [i.e. Manners and Miller] were the publishers of “Self-control”, and had sold between four and five thousand copies, besides its still being still in requisition.’
Source: Lady Charlotte Bury, The Diary of a Lady-In-Waiting, ed. A. F. Steuart, 2 vols. (London and New York: John Lane, 1908), II, 262.

HAWKINS, Lætitia-Matilda. COUNTESS AND GERTRUDE, THE (1811: 40)

Letter from Mary Russell Mitford to Sir William Elford, Bart. Bertram House, 5 Jan 1812: ‘Have you read “The Countess and Gertrude”, a philosophical novel of much note? I have no patience with it; because, in the first place, it abuses spoilt children, and you and I know that spoilt children are sometimes very innocent little simpletons; in the second, it advises a sort of rigorous discipline during youth, in order to prepare for the misfortunes of age.’
Source: The Life of Mary Russell Mitford: Related in a Selection from her Letters to her Friends, ed. A. G. L’Estrange, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1870), I, 166.

OWENSON, Sydney [afterwards MORGAN, Lady Sydney]. MISSIONARY, THE (1811: 61)

Letter from Miss Owenson to Mrs Lefanu. Priory, 18 Jan 1810: ‘What will please you more than anything is that I have sold my book, The Missionary, famously. That I am now correcting the proof sheets, and that I have sat to the celebrated Sir Thomas Lawrence for my picture, from which an engraving is done for my work.’
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), I, 395.

Letter from Madame Patterson Bonaparte to Lady Morgan. Paris, 28 Nov 1816: ‘I have been asking after the Novice of St. Dominic, but it has not been seen by any of your friends yet. The Missionary everyone knows, par coeur.’
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), II, 46.

BENGER, Elizabeth Ogilvy? or PILE, Barbara?. MARIAN (1812: 23)

Unsigned letter to Lady Charlotte Bury. 6 Mar 1820: ‘They [i.e. Manners and Miller] next bought “Marian” without reading, but upon the assurance of Mrs. Hamilton (the authoress) that it was the very best novel she had ever read. They printed eight hundred copies of it, and only sold three hundred. In short, I got such a complete history of the uncertainty of authorship, that I have resolved never to make a trade of it.’
Source: Lady Charlotte Bury, The Diary of a Lady-In-Waiting, ed. A. F. Steuart, 2 vols. (London and New York: John Lane, 1908), II, 262.

BURNEY, Sarah Harriet. TRAITS OF NATURE (1812: 24)

Letter from Mary Russell Mitford to Sir William Elford, Bart. Bertram House, 31 Oct 1814: ‘If you have never read Miss Burney’s “Traits of Nature”, I would recommend that also to your perusal. It is sweetly elegant.’
Source: The Life of Mary Russell Mitford: Related in a Selection from her Letters to her Friends, ed. A. G. L’Estrange, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1870), I, 293.

HATTON, Anne Julia Kemble. SICILIAN MYSTERIES (1812: 34)

Letter from Princess Charlotte. Warwick House, 11 Jan 1812: ‘ I am just in the middle of a most interesting novel called The Sicilian Misteries [sic]. It is in 5 vol. full of mistery and remarkably well worked up.’
Source: The Letters of Princess Charlotte, 1811–1817, ed. A. Aspinal (London: Home and Van Thal, 1949), p. 24.

HOFLAND, Barbara. HISTORY OF A CLERGYMAN’S WIDOW AND HER YOUNG FAMILY, THE (1812: 36)

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Miss Charlotte Sneyd. Byrkley Lodge, 19 Apr 1813: ‘On our way Mrs E. and my father stopped to [19] see the four thousand acres of bog which he has improved. My father would not let me run the hazard of wetting my feet so I sat in the chaise (and was not sorry for it) a full hour reading “The Clergyman’s widow” a very touching and simple tale.’
Source: Maria Edgeworth: Letters from England 1813–1844, ed. Christina Colvin (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), pp. 18–19.

OPIE, Amelia Alderson. TEMPER (1812: 52)

Letter from Mary Russell Mitford to Sir William Elford, Bart. Bertram House, 10 Nov 1813: ‘Have you read Miss Opie’s “Tales of Real Life?” I have only seen the first volume, and it is much better than “Temper.” She is always powerful in pathos.’
Source: The Life of Mary Russell Mitford: Related in a Selection from her Letters to her Friends, ed. A. G. L’Estrange, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1870), I, 240.

AUSTEN, Jane. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1813: 7)

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to C. Sneyd Edgeworth. 1 May 1813: ‘nothing interrupted our perusal of Pride and Prejudice for the remainder of the morning and till we reached Epping Place by dinner time. I am desired not to give any opinion of Pride & Prejudice but to beg you all to get it directly and read it and tell us what yours is.’
Source: Maria Edgeworth: Letters from England 1813–1844, ed. Christina Colvin (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), p. 46.

Letter from Mary Russell Mitford to Sir William Elford, Bart. 20 Dec 1814: ‘The want of elegance is almost the only want in Miss Austen. I have not read her “Mansfield Park”; but it is impossible not to feel in every line of “Pride and Prejudice”, in every word of “Elizabeth”, the entire want of taste which could produce so pert, so worldly a heroine as the beloved of such a man as Darcy.’
Source: The Life of Mary Russell Mitford: Related in a Selection from her Letters to her Friends, ed. A. G. L’Estrange, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1870), I, 300.

Mary Somerville. 1816 or later: ‘I met with Miss Austen’s novels at this time, and thought them excellent, especially Pride and Prejudice. It certainly formed a curious contrast to my old favourites, the Radcliffe novels and ghost stories; but I had now come to years of discretion.’
Source: Mary Somerville, Personal Recollections from Early Life to Old Age, with Selections of her Correspondence by her Daughter, Martha Somerville (London: John Murray, 1873); in The Scotswoman at Home and Abroad: Non-Fictional Writing 1700–1900, ed. Dorothy McMillan (Glasgow: Association for Scottish Literary Studies, 1999), p. 126.

Henry Crabb Robinson, Diary entry. 11 Jan 1819: ‘Amused myself by reading Pride and Prejudice’.
Source: The Diary of Henry Crabb Robinson: An Abridgement, ed. Derek Hudson (London: Oxford University Press, 1967), p. 59.

Henry Crabb Robinson, Diary entry. 12 Jan 1819: ‘I sat up till two, as I did last night, to finish Pride and Prejudice. This novel I consider as one of the most excellent of the works of our female novelists. Its merit lies in the characters, and in the perfectly colloquial style of the dialogue. Mrs Bennet, the foolish mother, who cannot conceal her projects to get rid of her daughters, is capitally drawn. There is a thick-headed servile parson, also a masterly sketch. His stupid letters and her ridiculous speeches are as delightful as wit. The two daughters are well contrasted—the gentle and candid Jane and the lively but prejudiced Elizabeth, are both good portraits, and the development of the passion between Elizabeth and Darcy, who at first hate each other, is executed with skill and effect.’
Source: The Diary of Henry Crabb Robinson: An Abridgement, ed. Derek Hudson (London: Oxford University Press, 1967), p. 59.

Sir Walter Scott, Journal entry. 14 Mar 1826: ‘Also read again and for the third time at least Miss Austen’s very finely written novel of Pride and Prejudice. That young lady had a talent for describing the involvements and feelings and characters of ordinary life which is to me the most wonderful I ever met with.’
Source: The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, ed. W. E. K. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 114.

BARRETT, Eaton Stannard. HEROINE, THE (1813: 9)

Letter from Jane Austen to Cassandra. Henrietta St [London], 2–3 Mar 1814: ‘I finished the Heroine last night & was very much amused by it. I wonder James did not like it better. It diverted me exceedingly … [256] It is Eveng. We have drank tea & I have torn through the 3d vol. of the Heroine, & do not think it falls off. —It is a delightful burlesque, particularly on the Radcliffe style.’
Source: Jane Austen’s Letters, ed. Deirdre Le Faye (1932; 3rd edn., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 255–56.

OPIE, Amelia Alderson. TALES OF REAL LIFE (1813: 43)

Letter from Mary Russell Mitford to Sir William Elford, Bart. Bertram House, 10 Nov 1813: ‘Have you read Miss Opie’s “Tales of Real Life?” I have only seen the first volume, and it is much better than “Temper.” She is always powerful in pathos.’
Source: The Life of Mary Russell Mitford: Related in a Selection from her Letters to her Friends, ed. A. G. L’Estrange, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1870), I, 240.

PLUMPTRE, Anne. HISTORY OF MYSELF AND MY FRIEND, THE (1813: 48)

Letter from Princess Charlotte. Windsor, 16 Nov 1812: ‘I shall be delighted to have any musick or books from you: Have you got a new one by Miss Plumtree, called Myself and my Friend? I think you would rather like it’.
Source: The Letters of Princess Charlotte, 1811–1817, ed. A. Aspinal (London: Home and Van Thal, 1949).

AUSTEN, Jane. MANSFIELD PARK (1814: 11)

Letter from Mary Russell Mitford to Sir William Elford, Bart. 20 Dec 1814: ‘The want of elegance is almost the only want in Miss Austen. I have not read her “Mansfield Park”; but it is impossible not to feel in every line of “Pride and Prejudice”, in every word of “Elizabeth”, the entire want of taste which could produce so pert, so worldly a heroine as the beloved of such a man as Darcy.’
Source: The Life of Mary Russell Mitford: Related in a Selection from her Letters to her Friends, ed. A. G. L’Estrange, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1870), I, 300.

Letter from Jane Austen to Anna Austen. 24 Nov 1814?: ‘Mrs Creed’s opinion is gone down on my list; but fortunately I may excuse myself from entering Mr [excised] as my paper only relates to Mansfield Park. I will redeem my credit with him, by writing a close Imitation of “Self-Control” as soon as I can;—I will improve upon it;—my Heroine shall not merely be wafted down an American river in a boat by herself, she shall cross the Atlantic in the same way, & never stop till she reaches Gravesent [sic].’
Source: Jane Austen’s Letters, ed. Deirdre Le Faye (1932; 3rd edn., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 282–83.

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Miss Ruxton. 26 Dec 1814: ‘We have been much entertained with Mansfield Park.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), I, 231.

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Edgeworth. 9 Nov 1821: ‘They have no conversation—no animation. Lady Carrington sits on a sofa all day long or drives or walks out just for health and is always poorly—Very like Lady Bertram in Mansfield Park—and the conversation of the house is like all those novels—like Emma in particular.’
Source: Maria Edgeworth: Letters from England 1813–1844, ed. Christina Colvin (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), p. 257.

BRUNTON, Mary. DISCIPLINE (1814: 14)

Unsigned letter to Lady Charlotte Bury. Quoted in diary entry dated 5 Nov 1817: ‘ “Discipline” is to come out, by the authoress of “Self Control”. It is very good, and I like it better than the other by the same writer. It is methodistical in the second volume—too much so; but the last is extremely interesting. Certainly she is a powerful writer. […] There are some highland persons drawn in the characters in “Discipline,” which are very cleverly sketched, and amuse me beyond measure. I am to meet the authoress, Mrs. Brunton to-night; but I am told she has no conversational powers.’
Source: Lady Charlotte Bury, The Diary of a Lady-In-Waiting, ed. A. F. Steuart, 2 vols. (London and New York: John Lane, 1908), II, 122.

D’ARBLAY, Frances. WANDERER, THE (1814: 17)

Letter from Lord Byron to William Harness. 8 Dec 1811: ‘My bookseller (Cawthorne) has just left me, & tells me with a most important face that he is in treaty for a novel of Madame D’Arblay’s […] for which 1000Gs are asked! He wants me to read the M.S. (if he obtains it) which I shall do with pleasure, but I should be very cautious in venturing an opinion on her whose ‘Cecelia’ Dr. Johnson superintended’.
Source: Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie A. Marchand, 13 vols. (London: John Murray, 1973–94), II, 143.

Letter from Maria Josepha, Lady Stanley to Louisa. 12 Apr 1814: ‘Did you read “O’Donnel” after the “Wanderer”? I should think not, from your manner of mentioning it. I had that advantage, or rather “O’Donnel” had, and whether in consequence of that or of you and Kitty having abused it I cannot say, but sure it is, I like the work extremely […] But the “Wanderer!” I give you up entirely. There, if you please, is absurdity in plenty’.
Source: The Early Married Life of Maria Josepha, Lady Stanley, ed. Jane H. Adeane (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1899), p. 344.

Letter from Lord Byron to John Murray. 24 July 1814: ‘Waverley is the best & most interesting novel I have redde since—I don’t know when—I like it as much as I hate Patronage & Wanderer—& O’Donnel and all the feminine trash of the last four months.’
Source: Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie A. Marchand, 13 vols. (London: John Murray, 1973–94), IV, 146.

EDGEWORTH, Maria. PATRONAGE (1814: 20)

Letter from Lord Byron to John Murray. 11 Jan 1814: ‘I have redde “Patronage” it is full of praises for Lord Ellenborough!!! from which I infer near & dear relations at the bar—and has much of her heartlessness & little of her humour (wit she has none) and she must live more than 3 weeks in London to describe good (or if you will) high society—the ton of her book is as vulgar as her father—’.
Source: Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie A. Marchand, 13 vols. (London: John Murray, 1973–94), IV, 25.

Letter from Princess Charlotte. 17 Jan 1814: ‘Miss Edgeworth’s new novel of Patronage I have just read. It is full long, I confess, but I think it clever & with much knowledge of the world, but bitter.’
Source: The Letters of Princess Charlotte, 1811–1817, ed. A. Aspinal (London: Home and Van Thal, 1949), p. 106.


Letter from Joanna Baillie to Walter Scott. 3 Feb 1814: ‘with spectacles on nose we have been reading our books and amongst these Patronage. There are some well drawn characters in it & good lessons for many people, but I fear it is too much loaded with discussions in dialogue & ordinary love matters to give it every chance for being so popular as most of her other works are.’
Also in: Collected Letters of Joanna Baillie, ed. Judith Bailey Slagle, 2 vols. (Madison, NJ: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, and London and Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Press, 1999), I, 330.

Lord Byron, Journal entry. 27 Feb 1814: ‘On Tuesday last dined with Rogers,—Mad[am]e de Staël, Mackintosh, Sheridan, Erskine, and Payne Knight, Lady Donegall, and Miss R. there. Sheridan told a very good story of himself and M[ada]me de Recamier’s handkerchief; Erskine a few stories of himself only. She is going to write a big book about England, she says;—I believe her. Asked by her how I liked Miss [Edgeworth]’s thing called [Patronage], and answered (very sincerely) that I thought it very bad for her, and worse than any of the others.’
Source: Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie A. Marchand, 13 vols. (London: John Murray, 1973–94), III, 247.

Letter from Mary Russell Mitford to Sir William Elford, Bart. Bertram House, 4 June 1814: ‘A word about “Patronage” and Miss Edgeworth. She has deviated, for the first time I believe in her life from her old and excellent rule of saying nothing of trees, rivers, mountains, and such branches of learning, and has treated us with a description of external nature, filched, I verily believe, from Mrs Radcliffe, in her account of “the hills”—“rocks, fringed with mountain shrubs”—“streams gushing on pebbly channels”—“long narrow winding valleys and steeps crowned with wood.” And all this in Hampshire! where certainly Miss Edgeworth can never have set her foot, and where gushing streams and rocky mountains are equally unknown.’
Source: The Life of Mary Russell Mitford: Related in a Selection from her Letters to her Friends, ed. A. G. L’Estrange, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1870), I, 269.

Letter from Lord Byron to John Murray. 24 July 1814: ‘Waverley is the best & most interesting novel I have redde since—I don’t know when—I like it as much as I hate Patronage & Wanderer—& O’Donnel and all the feminine trash of the last four months.’
Source: Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie A. Marchand, 13 vols. (London: John Murray, 1973–94), IV, 146.

Letter from Jane Austen to Cassandra. 23 Hans Place [London], 23–24 Aug 1814: ‘I must submit to seeing George Hampson, though I had hoped to go through Life without it.—It was one of my vanities, like your not reading Patronage.’
Source: Jane Austen’s Letters, ed. Deirdre Le Faye (1932; 3rd edn., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 271.

Letter from Miss Ferrier to Lady Charlotte Bury. Dec 1816: ‘I am now labouring very hard at “Patronage”, which, I must honestly confess, is the greatest lump of cold lead I ever attempted to swallow. Truth, nature, life, and sense, there is, I dare say, in abundance, but I cannot discover a particle of imagination, taste, wit, or sensibility; and without these latter qualities, I never could feel much pleasure in any book. In a novel, especially, such materials are expected, and, if not found, it is exceedingly disappointing to be made to pick a dry bone, when one thinks one is going to enjoy a piece of honeycomb. It is for this reason that I almost always prefer a romance to a novel.’
Source: Lady Charlotte Bury, The Diary of a Lady-In-Waiting, ed. A. F. Steuart, 2 vols. (London and New York: John Lane, 1908), II, 176.

Anne Chalmers. 1823: ‘The next person of note I saw was Miss Edgeworth. I was then ten years old, living at Blochairn, where I found a copy of her Patronage which I devoured eagerly. […] I was then rather precocious, and thought these young ladies [at a dinner party with Edgeworth held by Chalmers’s father] wanted to play at very childish games with me, who had just read Patronage.’
Source: Anne Chalmers, ‘Autobiographical Notes’ (1880); in The Scotswoman at Home and Abroad: Non-Fictional Writing 1700–1900, ed. Dorothy McMillan (Glasgow: Association for Scottish Literary Studies, 1999), p. 198.

HAWKINS, Lætitia-Matilda. ROSANNE (1814: 29)

Letter from Jane Austen to Anna Lefroy. ?late Feb–?early Mar 1815: ‘We have got “Rosanne” in our society, and find it much as you describe it; very good and clever, but tedious. Mrs Hawkins’ great excellence is on serious subjects. There are some very delightful conversations and reflections on religion; but on lighter topics I think she falls into many absurdities, and, as to love, her heroine has very comical feelings. There are a thousand improbabilities in the story.’
Source: Jane Austen’s Letters, ed. Deirdre Le Faye (1932; 3rd edn., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 289.

OWENSON, Sydney [afterwards MORGAN, Lady Sydney]. O’DONNEL (1814: 41)

Letter from Maria Josepha, Lady Stanley to Louisa. 12 Apr 1814: ‘Did you read “O’Donnel” after the “Wanderer”? I should think not, from your manner of mentioning it. I had that advantage, or rather “O’Donnel” had, and whether in consequence of that or of you and Kitty having abused it I cannot say, but sure it is, I like the work extremely’.
Source: The Early Married Life of Maria Josepha, Lady Stanley, ed. Jane H. Adeane (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1899), p. 344.

Letter from Lord Byron to John Murray. 24 July 1814: ‘Waverley is the best & most interesting novel I have redde since—I don’t know when—I like it as much as I hate Patronage & Wanderer—& O’Donnel and all the feminine trash of the last four months.’
Source: Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie A. Marchand, 13 vols. (London: John Murray, 1973–94), IV, 146.

Letter from Mary Russell Mitford to Sir William Elford, Bart. 3 Apr 1815: ‘I have lately been very much and very unexpectedly pleased with Lady Morgan’s (ci-devant Miss Owenson) O’Donnel. I had a great prejudice and dislike to this fair authoress ever since I read a certain description of which she was guilty, where part of a lady’s dress is described as “apparent tissue of woven air,” and really took up the book with an idea that nothing but nonsense could come from that quarter. I was, however, very much disappointed in my malicious expectations of laughing at her, and obliged to content myself with laughing with her.’
Source: The Life of Mary Russell Mitford: Related in a Selection from her Letters to her Friends, ed. A. G. L’Estrange, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1870), I, 305.

Lady Charlotte Bury,
Diary entry. 5 Dec 1815: ‘Mr North has been reading Lady Morgan’s “O’Donnel,” and is delighted with it. He says he never read a book that amused him so much, and that it has the merit of being more interesting in the last than in the first volume.’
Source: Lady Charlotte Bury, The Diary of a Lady-In-Waiting, ed. A. F. Steuart, 2 vols. (London: John Lane, 1908), II, 35.

Letter from Mrs Grant of Laggan to Mrs Gorman. 23 Mar 1825: ‘Lady Morgan with her wreath of flowers and her self-satisfied smartness, is just the person I had figured to myself [re. portrait by Berwick.]. Though by no means approving of some of the opinions in her later publications, yet I admired the ability shown in O’Donnel, the only work of hers that I have read through.’

Source: Memoirs and Correspondence of Mrs Grant of Laggan, ed. J. P. Laggan, 3 vols. (London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1844), III, 83.

Walter Scott, Journal entry. 14 Mar 1826: ‘I have amused myself occasionally very pleasantly during the few last days by reading over Lady Morgan’s novel of O’Donnel which has some striking and beautiful passages of situation and description and in the comic part is very rich and entertaining. I do not remember being so much pleased with it at first—there is a want of story always fatal to a book the first reading and it is well if it gets the chance of a second—alas poor novel!’
Source: The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, ed. W. E. K. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 114.
 
Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Edgeworth. 27 Jan 1835:Maria was always so much interested in a story that she would not stop to reason upon it. I remember when Lady Morgan’s O’Donnel was being read out in the year 1815, at the scene of M’Rory’s appearance in the billiard room, when Mr Edgeworth said, “This is quite improbable;” Maria exclaimed, “Never mind the improbability, let us go on with the entertainment.” ’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), II, 257.

SCOTT, Sir Walter. WAVERLEY (1814: 52)

Letter from J. B. S. Morritt to Walter Scott. 14 July 1814: ‘My Dear Scott,—How the story of Waverley may continue in the last two volumes I am not able to divine, but as far as we have read pray let us thank you for the castle of Tully-Veolan and the delightful drinking bout at Lucky Macleary’s, no less than the character of the Laird of Balmawhapple, the Baron of Bradwardine, and Davie Gellatley who I take to be a transcript of William Rose’s motley follower, commonly yclept Caliban. If the completion of the story is equal to what we have just devoured, it deserves a place amongst our standard works, far better than its modest appearance and anonymous title-page will give it as a novel in these days of prolific story-telling. I wish it was known and circulated, for honestly I can assure you it has already entertained us beyond belief. Your manner of narrating is so different from the slipshod sauntering verbiage of common novels, and from the stiff, precise and prim sententiousness of some of our female novelists that it cannot, I think, fail to strike anybody who knows what stile is, though amongst the gentle class of readers, who swallow every blue-backed book in a circulating library for the sake of the story, I should fear that half the knowledge of nature it contains and all the Humour would be thrown away.’
Source: The Private Letter Books of Sir Walter Scott, ed. Wilfred Partington (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1930), p. 111.

Letter from Lord Byron to John Murray. 24 July 1814: ‘Waverley is the best & most interesting novel I have redde since—I don’t know when—I like it as much as I hate Patronage & Wanderer—& O’Donnel and all the feminine trash of the last four months.
Source: Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie A. Marchand, 13 vols. (London: John Murray, 1973–94), IV, 146.

Letter from Jane Austen to Anna Austen. Chawton, 28 Sep 1814: ‘Walter Scott has no business to write novels, especially good ones.—It is not fair.—He has Fame & Profit enough as a Poet, and should not be taking the bread out of other people’s mouths.—I do not like him, & do not mean to like Waverley if I can help it—but fear I must.’
Source: Jane Austen’s Letters, ed. Deirdre Le Faye (1932; 3rd edn., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 277.

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Ruxton. 13 Oct 1814: ‘We went to Coolure and had a pleasant day. Waverley was in everybody’s hands. The Admiral does not like it; the hero, he says, is such a shuffling fellow. […] My father is charmed by her [Miss Napier] beauty, her voice, and her manners. We talked over Waverley with her. I am more delighted with it than I can tell you: it is a work of first-rate genius.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare , 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), I, 225.

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to the Author of ‘Waverley’. 23 Oct 1814: ‘Aut Scotus, Aut Diabolus! We have this moment finished Waverley. It was read aloud to this large family, and I wish the author could have witnessed the impression it made—the strong hold it seized on the feelings both of young and old—’. [detailed comments for following 5 pages].
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), I, 226–31.

Letter from Mary Russell Mitford to Sir William Elford, Bart. Bertram House, 31 Oct 1814: ‘Have you read Walter Scott’s “Waverley?” I have ventured to say “Walter Scott’s”, though I hear he denies it, just as a young girl denies the imputation of a lover; but if there be any belief in internal evidence it must be his. It is his by a thousand indications—by all the faults and beauties.’
Source: The Life of Mary Russell Mitford: Related in a Selection from her Letters to her Friends, ed. A. G. L’Estrange, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1870), I, 280.
 
Letter from William Wordsworth. 25 Apr 1815: ‘ “Waverley” heightened my opinion of Scott’s talents very considerably […] infinitely the best part of “Waverley” is the pictures of Highland manners at MacIvor’s castle, and the delineation of his character, which are done with great spirit.’
Source: R. P. Gillies, Memoirs of a Literary Veteran 1794–1849, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1851), II, 159.

Letter from George Crabbe to Walter Scott. 25 June 1815: ‘We talk of Waverly [sic] and Guy Mannering: Lady Jersey sent me the former as yours. I vote with the Multitude, yet some pretend to know more & talk of revisals & amendments. I have a private Reason for my Opinion viz. my own Vanity. Who but a friend would have quoted me so often & once in a peculiar Manner?—I ask no Question! I ought not but I tell you what we say & think. Waverley may be the best but Guy is most entertaining.’
Source: Selected Letters and Journals of George Crabbe, ed. Thomas C. Faulkner (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985), p. 183.

Letter from John Wilson Croker to a friend. May 1817: ‘I send you the “Antiquary” and “Tales of My Landlord”, by the author of “Waverley” and “Guy Mannering”. They are the most popular novels which have been published for many years; they are indeed almost histories rather than novels. The author is certainly Walter Scott, or his brother Mr Thomas Scott.’
Source: The Croker Papers: Correspondence and Diaries of John Wilson Croker, ed. Louis J. Jennings, 3 vols. (London: John Murray, 1884), I, 112.

Unsigned letter to Lady Charlotte Bury. Quoted in diary entry dated 5 Nov 1817: ‘I was told Walter Scott received six thousand pounds for “Waverley,” and as much for “Guy Mannering.” […] I have lately had the advantage of becoming acquainted with Mr. [Jeffrey]; he has reviewed “Waverley” and given it high praise, and ends by desiring Walter Scott, if he is not the author, to look well to his laurels, for that he has got a much more powerful opponent than any who yet entered the lists with him.’
Source: Lady Charlotte Bury, The Diary of a Lady-In-Waiting, ed. A. F. Steuart, 2 vols. (London and New York: John Lane, Bodley Head, 1908), II, 122.
 
Henry Crabb Robinson, Diary entry. 2 Dec 1821: ‘I have finished Waverley. As a novel it cannot be said to be very interesting. It is better on reflection than on perusal. Its merit lies in portrait and scene painting.’
Source: The Diary of Henry Crabb Robinson: An Abridgement, ed. Derek Hudson (London: Oxford University Press, 1967), p. 71.

WEST, Jane. ALICIA DE LACY (1814: 60)

Letter from Jane Austen to Anna Austen. Chawton, 28 Sep 1814: ‘I am quite determined however not to be pleased with Mrs West’s Alicia de Lacy, should I even meet with it, which I hope I may not—I think I can be [278] stout against anything written by Mrs West.—I have made up my mind to like no Novels really, but Miss Edgeworth’s, Yours and my own.—’.
Source: Jane Austen’s Letters, ed. Deirdre Le Faye (1932; 3rd edn., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 277–78.

SCOTT, Sir Walter. GUY MANNERING (1815: 46)

Letter from William Wordsworth. 25 Apr 1815: ‘You mentioned “Guy Mannering” in your last. I have read it. I cannot say I was disappointed, for there is very considerable talent displayed in the performance, and much of that sort of knowledge with which the author’s mind is so richly stored. But the adventures I think not well chosen or invented, and they are still worse put together; and the characters, with the exception of Meg Merrilies, excite little interest.’
Source: R. P. Gillies, Memoirs of a Literary Veteran 1794–1849, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1851), II, 158.

Letter from George Crabbe to Walter Scott. 25 June 1815: ‘We talk of Waverly [sic] and Guy Mannering: Lady Jersey sent me the former as yours. I vote with the Multitude, yet some pretend to know more & talk of revisals & amendments. I have a private Reason for my Opinion viz. my own Vanity. Who but a friend would have quoted me so often & once in a peculiar Manner?—I ask no Question! I ought not but I tell you what we say & think. Waverley may be the best but Guy is most entertaining.’
Source: Selected Letters and Journals of George Crabbe, ed. Thomas C. Faulkner (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985), p. 183.

Letter from Joanna Baillie to Walter Scott. Hampstead, 2 July 1816: ‘I had a letter from Miss Edgeworth about a fortnight ago, full of praise for The Antiquary which she rather prefers to Guy Mannering. She thinks there is but one person in the world able [126] to write such works, and therefore they must be his. It is indeed rich in characters and in original pictures of human nature; but I know not how to give it a preference to the others. My admiration of Meg Merrilies and my love for Dandy Dinmount being great; besides that the story of Guy Mannering is more uniformly animated and entertaining.’
Source: The Private Letter Books of Sir Walter Scott, ed. Wilfred Partington (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1930), pp. 125–26.
Also recorded in: Collected Letters of Joanna Baillie, ed. Judith Bailey Slagle, 2 vols. (Madison, NJ: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, and London and Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Press, 1999), I, 354.

Letter from John Wilson Croker to a friend. May 1817: ‘I send you the “Antiquary” and “Tales of My Landlord”, by the author of “Waverley” and “Guy Mannering”. They are the most popular novels which have been published for many years; they are, indeed, almost histories rather than novels. The author is certainly Walter Scott, or his brother Mr. Thomas Scott.’
Source: The Croker Papers: Correspondence and Diaries of John Wilson Croker, ed. Louis J. Jennings, 3 vols. (London: John Murray, 1884), I, 112.

Unsigned letter to Lady Charlotte Bury. 5 Nov 1817: ‘I was told Walter Scott received six thousand pounds for “Waverley,” and as much for “Guy Mannering.” ’
Source: Lady Charlotte Bury, The Diary of a Lady-In-Waiting, ed. A. F. Steuart, 2 vols. (London and New York: John Lane, 1908), II, 122.

TAYLOR, Jane. DISPLAY (1815: 50)

Isaac Taylor. 1814: ‘Soon after our removal to Marazion, my sister [Jane] resumed writing the Tale she had commenced at Ilfracombe; and late in the same year, it was sent to press, under the title of “Display”. The favour with which this little work was received; and more especially the high praise bestowed upon it by a few individuals, whose judgement and sincerity could not be questioned; produced a very desirable effect upon her mind. For it gave her, in some degree, that confidence in her own powers which she so much needed.’
Source: Memoirs and Poetical Remains of the Late Jane Taylor, ed. Isaac Taylor (London: Holdsworth, 1826), p. 144.

AUSTEN, Jane. EMMA (1816: 16)

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Ruxton. 10 Jan 1816: ‘The authoress of Pride and Prejudice has been so good as to send me a new novel just published, Emma.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), I, 235.

Letter from Mary Russell Mitford to Sir William Elford, Bart. 2 July 1816: ‘Ah! they had better take South and Blair and Secker for guides, and go for amusement to Miss Edgeworth and Miss Austen. By-the-way, how delightful is her “Emma!” the best, I think, of all her charming works.’
Source: The Life of Mary Russell Mitford: Related in a Selection from her Letters to her Friends, ed. A. G. L’Estrange, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1870), I, 331.

Unsigned letter to Lady Charlotte Bury. 6 Mar 1820: ‘Formerly, in my time, a heroine was merely a piece of beautiful matter, with long fair hair and soft blue eyes, who was buffeted up and down the world like a shuttle cock, and visited with all sorts of possible and impossible miseries. Now they are black-haired, sensible women, who do plain work, pay morning visits, and make presents of legs of pork;—vide “Emma,” which, notwithstanding, I do think a very capital performance: there is no story whatever, nor the slightest pretensions to a moral, but the characters are all so true to life, and the style so dry and piquant that it does not require the adventitious aids of mystery and adventure. ‘ “Rhoda” is of a higher standard of morals [than Emma], and very good and interesting.’ These are the only novels I have read in many months.’
Source: Lady Charlotte Bury, The Diary of a Lady-In-Waiting, ed. A. F. Steuart, 2 vols. (London and New York: John Lane, 1908), II, 261.

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Edgeworth. 9 Nov 1821: ‘They have no conversation—no animation. Lady Carrington sits on a sofa all day long or drives or walks out just for health and is always poorly—very like Lady Bertram in Mansfield Park—and the conversation of the house is like all those novels—like Emma in particular.’
Source: Maria Edgeworth: Letters from England 1813–1844, ed. Christina Colvin (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), p. 257.

Susan Ferrier: ‘I have been reading “Emma”, which is excellent; there is no story whatever, and the heroine is no better than other people; but the characters are all so true to life, and the style so piquant that it does not require the adventitious aids of mystery and adventure.’
Source: Memoir and Correspondence of Susan Ferrier. 1782–1854. Collected by her Grandnephew John Ferrier, ed. John A. Doyle (London: Eveleigh, Nash and Grayson, 1929), p. 128.

CONSTANT DE REBECQUE, Benjamin Henri. ADOLPHE (1816: 22)

Letter from Lord Byron to Countess Teresa Guiccioli. Ravenna, 24 Aug 1820: ‘I shall be with you on Monday;—meanwhile I send you a little book, Adolphe—written by an old friend of de Stael—about whom I heard de Stael say horrible things at Coppet in 1816, with regard to his feelings and his behaviour to her—But the book is well-written and only too true.’
Source: Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie A. Marchand, 13 vols. (London: John Murray, 1973–94), VII, 161–62.

JACSON, Frances. RHODA (1816: 35)

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Miss Waller. 24 Nov 1818: ‘We have not yet seen any visitors since we came here and have paid only one visit to the Miss Jacksons. Miss Fanny you know is the author of Rhoda—Miss Maria Jackson, the author of Dialogues on botany’.
Source: Maria Edgeworth: Letters from England 1813–1844, ed. Christina Colvin (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), p. 141.

Unsigned letter to Lady Charlotte Bury. 16 Mar 1820: ‘ “Rhoda” is of a higher standard of morals [than Emma], and very good and interesting. These are the only novels I have read in many months.’
Source: Lady Charlotte Bury, The Diary of a Lady-In-Waiting, ed. A. F. Steuart, 2 vols. (London and New York: John Lane, 1908), II, 261.

LAMB, Lady Caroline. GLENARVON (1816: 40)

Letter from Joanna Baillie to Walter Scott. Hampstead, 2 July 1816: ‘I suppose you have read Lady C. Lamb’s book. [355] It is not without some ability, yet I doubt whether I should have had patience to read it if my curiosity had not been excited by believing the characters to be taken from real life. Her outré fantastical loves & sentiments are like the ravings of a crazy person.’
Source: The Private Letter Books of Sir Walter Scott, ed. Wilfred Partington (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1930), p. 126.
Also recorded in: Collected Letters of Joanna Baillie, ed. Judith Bailey Slagle, 2 vols. (Madison, NJ: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, and London and Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Press, 1999), I, 354–55.

Letter from Lord Byron to John Murray. Diodati, near Geneva, 22 July 1816: ‘Of Glenarvon, Madame de Staël told me (ten days ago, at Copet) marvellous and grievous things; but I have seen nothing of it but the Motto, which promises amiably “For us and for our Tragedy.” If such be the posy, what should the ring be? “a name to all succeeding,” etc. I have not even a guess at the contents, except from the very vague accounts I have heard, and I know but one thing which a woman can say to the purpose on such occasions, and that she might as well for her own sake keep to herself, which by the way they very rarely can—the old reproach against their admirers of ‘kiss and tell,’ bad as it is, is scarcely somewhat less than—and publish.’
Source: Letters of Lord Byron, ed. R. G. Howarth (London: J. M. Dent and Sons, 1936), p. 129.

Letter from George Crabbe to Colonel John Houlton. 5 and 11 Aug 1816: ‘I have now read the Remainder (nearly) of Glenarvon! & should not give the Writer as an Example of the good Ladies: the Woman absolutely holds forth the Doctrine of irresistible Passion, & that if Lady Avondale falls desperately in Love with Lord Glenarvon, after marrying the Man of her own Choice, there is no help for it: if he spare her, well & good! if not she must fall!’
Source: Selected Letters and Journals of George Crabbe, ed. Thomas C. Faulkner (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985), p. 193.

Letter from Lord Byron to Thomas Moore. 5 Dec 1816: ‘By the way, I suppose you have seen “Glenarvon”. Madame de Stael lent it to me to read from Copet last autumn. It seems to me that, if the authoress had written the truth, and nothing but the truth—the whole truth—the romance would not only have been more romantic, but more entertaining.’
Source: Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie A. Marchand, 13 vols. (London: John Murray, 1973–94), V, 131.

Letter from Lord Byron to John Murray. 7 Aug 1817: ‘An Italian translation of “Glenarvon” came lately to be printed at Venice—the Censor (Sir Petrotini) refused to sanction the publication till he had seen me upon the subject;—I told him that I did not recognise the slightest relation between the book and myself—but that whatever opinions might be upon that subjectI should never prevent or oppose the publication of any book in any languageon my own private account’.
Source: Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie A. Marchand, 13 vols. (London: John Murray, 1973–94), V, 255.

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Edgeworth. 4 Oct 1818: ‘We were talking of Glenarvon and I said we had thought the Princess of Madagascar—Lady Holland—the best part of the book—so good that we [106] fancied it had been inserted by a better hand. Lord Landsdowne said “It is certainly written by Caroline Lamb and she was provoked to it by a note of good advice from Lady Holland […] // When I said we thought the book stupid and that we could hardly get through it Lord Landsdowne said that unless from curiosity to know what could be said of particular people he was not sure that he could have got to the end of it.’
Source: Maria Edgeworth: Letters from England 1813–1844, ed. Christina Colvin (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), pp. 105–06.

Lady Charlotte Bury, Diary entry. 20 Jan 1820: ‘Her [Lady Caroline Lamb’s] novel of Glenarvon showed much genius, but of an erratic kind; and false statements are so mingled with true in its pages, that the next generation will not be able to separate them; otherwise, if it were worth any person’s while now to write explanatory notes on that work, it might go down to posterity as hints for memoirs of her times.’
Source: Lady Charlotte Bury, The Diary of a Lady-In-Waiting, ed. A. F. Steuart (London and New York: John Lane, 1908), II, 215.

Letter from Lord Byron to Countess Teresa Guiccioli. 7 Feb 1820?: ‘Your little head is heated now by that damned novel—the author of which has been—in every country and at all times—my evil Genius’. [Editor notes that the book was Glenarvon, which Byron had lent to Teresa.]
Source: Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie A. Marchand, 13 vols. (London: John Murray, 1973–94), VII, 37.

Anne Lister. 16 Sep 1823: ‘Agreed that Lady Caroline Lamb’s novel Glenarvon, is very talented but a very dangerous sort of book.’
Source: I Know My Own Heart: The Diaries of Anne Lister 1791–1840, ed. Helena Whitbread (London: Virago Press, 1988), p. 295.

PEACOCK, Thomas Love. HEADLONG HALL (1816: 49)

Henry Crabb Robinson, Diary entry. 31 Dec 1818: ‘I read, beginning of the week, Headlong Hall—satirical dialogues—an account of a visit to a Welsh squire’s seat. The interlocutors represent certain literary parties in the country. There is one who is an optimist, another a deteriorist, who obtrude their speculations on every occasion; there are reviewers, a picturesque gardener, etc: but the commonplaces of the literators of the day are not preserved from being tiresome by original humour or wit, so that the book is very dull.’
Source: The Diary of Henry Crabb Robinson: An Abridgement, ed. Derek Hudson (London: Oxford University Press, 1967), p. 59.

SCOTT, Sir Walter. ANTIQUARY, THE (1816: 52)

Letter from Joanna Baillie to Walter Scott. Hampstead, 2 July 1816: ‘I had a letter from Miss Edgeworth about a fortnight ago, full of praise for The Antiquary which she rather prefers to Guy Mannering. She thinks there is but one person in the world able [126] to write such works, and therefore they must be his. It is indeed rich in character and in original pictures of human nature; but I know not how to give it a preference to the others.’
Source: The Private Letter Books of Sir Walter Scott, ed. Wilfred Partington (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1930), pp. 125–26.
Also recorded in: Collected Letters of Joanna Baillie, ed. Judith Bailey Slagle, 2 vols. (Madison, NJ: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, and London and Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Press, 1999), I, 354.

Letter from Jane Austen to James Edward Austen. Chawton, 16–17 Dec 1816: ‘Uncle Henry writes very superior Sermons.—You & I must try to get hold of one or two, & put them into our Novels;—it would be a fine help to a volume; & we could make our heroine read it aloud, just as well as Isabella Wardour in the Antiquary is made to read the History of the Hartz Demon in the ruins of St Ruth—tho’ I believe, upon recollection, that Lovell is the Reader.’
Source: Jane Austen’s Letters, ed. Deirdre Le Faye (1932; 3rd edn., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 323.

Letter from John Wilson Croker to a friend. May 1817: ‘I send you the “Antiquary” and “Tales of My Landlord”, by the author of “Waverley” and “Guy Mannering”. They are the most popular novels which have been published for many years; they are, indeed, almost histories rather than novels. The author is certainly Walter Scott, or his brother Mr. Thomas Scott.’
Source: The Croker Papers: Correspondence and Diaries of John
Wilson Croker, ed. Louis J. Jennings, 3 vols. (London: John Murray, 1884), I, 112.

SCOTT, Sir Walter. TALES OF MY LANDLORD (1816: 53)

Letter from the 4th Duke of Buccleuch to Sir Walter Scott. 19 Dec 1816: ‘The books you mentioned having sent (the Tales of My Landlord) have never arrived. We had a copy from Manners and Miller. The first Tale of the Black Dwarf is very entertaining, and is a good border story. The second is not only very amusing but highly interesting, as it throws a light on a particular part of history not generally well understood.’
Source: The Private Letter Books of Sir Walter Scott, ed. Wilfred Partington (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1930), p. 287.

Letter from John Wilson Croker to a friend. May 1817: ‘I send you the “Antiquary” and “Tales of My Landlord”, by the author of “Waverley” and “Guy Mannering”. They are the most popular novels which have been published for many years; they are, indeed, almost histories rather than novels. The author is certainly Walter Scott, or his brother Mr. Thomas Scott.’
Source: The Croker Papers: Correspondence and Diaries of John
Wilson Croker, ed. Louis J. Jennings, 3 vols. (London: John Murray, 1884), I, 112.

Letter from Joanna Baillie to Walter Scott. 7 Jan 1819: ‘There is a trait of Cuddy in The Tales of My Landlord that delighted me: viz, that necessary union with his old Mother (even while he speaks to her with little reverence) which could not in imagination be broken: […] It is a generous, excellent feeling, and many good consequences arise from it.’
Source: Sir Walter Scott’s Post-Bag, ed. Wilfred Partington (London: John Murray, 1932), p. 126.

Susan Ferrier: ‘I’ve read “My Landlord’s Tales”, and can’t abide them; but that’s my shame, not their fault, for they are excessively admired by all persons of taste, Bessie Mure amongst others. I thought my back would have broke at “Old Mortality”, such bumping up and down behind dragoons, and such scolding, and such fighting, and such preaching. O, how my bones did ache!’
Source: Memoir and Correspondence of Susan Ferrier. 1782–1854. Collected by her Grandnephew John Ferrier, ed. John A. Doyle (London: Eveleigh, Nash and Grayson, 1929), p. 132.

EDGEWORTH, Maria. HARRINGTON and ORMOND (1817: 24)

Letter from Joanna Baillie to Walter Scott. 2 July 1817: ‘I have just been reading Miss Edgeworth’s new Tales. The first holds out a good lesson given with ability, but being less animated than many of her best tales, and too obviously perhaps in the form of a lesson it will not probably be very popular.’
Source: Collected Letters of Joanna Baillie, ed. Judith Bailey Slagle, 2 vols. (Madison, NJ: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, and London and Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Press, 1999), I, 372.

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Fanny Edgeworth. 31 Aug 1818: ‘the last Bath bride Miss Brownlow who has just married Mr. McNeill of the Isles sat up a whole night to read Ormond—she says—.’
Source: Maria Edgeworth: Letters from England 1813–1844, ed. Christina Colvin (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), p. 78.

PORTER, Jane. PASTOR’S FIRE-SIDE, THE (1817: 49)

Samuel Carter Hall:The Scottish Chiefs was Jane Porter’s most famous work. Who reads it now? Who knows even by name Thaddeus of Warsaw? or who can talk about The Pastor’s Fireside? Yet seventy years ago those works were of such account that the first Napoleon, on political grounds, paid Jane Porter the high compliment of prohibiting the circulation of Thaddeus of Warsaw in France.’
Source: S. C. Hall, Retrospect of a Long Life: from 1815–1883, 2 vols. (London: Richard Bentley and Son, 1883), II, 144.

AUSTEN, Jane. NORTHANGER ABBEY: AND PERSUASION (1818: 19)

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Ruxton. 21 Feb 1818:Persuasion—excepting the tangled useless histories of the family in the first fifty pages—appears to me, especially in all that relates to poor Anne and her lover, to be exceedingly interesting and natural. The love and the lover admirably well drawn: don’t you see Captain Wentworth, or rather don’t you in her place feel him taking the boisterous child off her back as she kneels by the sick boy on the sofa?’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), I, 247.

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Ruxton. 21 Feb 1818: ‘The behaviour of the General in Northanger Abbey, packing off the young lady without a servant or the common civilities which any bear of a man, not to say gentleman, would have shown, is quite outrageously out of drawing and out of nature.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), I, 247.

FERRIER, Susan Edmonstone. MARRIAGE (1818: 29)

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Ruxton. 22 Jan 1819: ‘Honora plays cribbage with Aunt Mary, and I read Florence MacCarthy; I like the Irish characters and the commodore, and Lord Adelm—that is Lord Byron; but Ireland is traduced in some of her representations. “Marriage” is delightful.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), I, 259.

Letter from Joanna Baillie to Walter Scott. 18 June 1819: ‘The author of Marriage or any other author whatever, cannot take this up, tho’ they may pursue with some success the peculiar manners of the Scotch Highlanders.’ [Baillie is talking about ‘witches’ or ‘hags’.]
Source: Collected Letters of Joanna Baillie, ed. Judith Bailey Slagle, 2 vols. (Madison, NJ: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, and London and Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Press, 1999), I, 389.

Letter from William Blackwood to Susan Ferrier: ‘On Saturday I lent in confidence to a very clever person, upon whose discretion I can rely, the two volumes of “The Inheritance.” This morning I got them back with the following note: // My dear Sir,—I am truly delighted with “The Inheritance.” I do not find as yet any one character quite equal to “Dr. [Redgill]”—except perhaps the good-natured old tumbled maiden—but as a novel it is a hundred miles above “Marriage.” ’
Source: Memoir and Correspondence of Susan Ferrier. 1782–1854. Collected by her Grandnephew John Ferrier, ed. John A. Doyle (London: Eveleigh, Nash and Grayson, 1929), p. 174.

OWENSON, Sydney [afterwards MORGAN, Lady Sydney]. FLORENCE MACARTHY (1818: 44)

Lady Charlotte Bury, Diary entry. 26 Nov 1815 [sic]: ‘I read Lady Morgan’s Florence Macarthy. There is originality and genius in all she writes.’
Source: Lady Charlotte Bury, The Diary of a Lady-In-Waiting, ed. A. F. Steuart, 2 vols. (London and New York: John Lane, 1908), II, 5.

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Ruxton. 22 Jan 1819: ‘Honora plays cribbage with Aunt Mary, and I read Florence MacCarthy; I like the Irish characters and the commodore, and Lord Adelm—that is Lord Byron; but Ireland is traduced in some of her representations. “Marriage” is delightful.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), I, 259.

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Edgeworth. 28 Jan 1819: ‘Coffee and tea—Florence Macarthy until bed—the Irish parts performed by M. E.—the English alternately by Fanny and Mr Sneyd. What a shameful mixture in this book of the highest talent and the lowest malevolence and the most despicable disgusting affectation and impropriety—and total disregard of the consequences of what she writes […] [167] My general feelings in closing the book are shame and disgust and the wish never more to be classed with novel writers when the highest talents in that line have been so disgraced. Oh that I could prevent people from even naming me along with her—either for praise or blame.’
Source: Maria Edgeworth: Letters from England 1813–1844, ed. Christina Colvin (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), pp. 166–67.

Letter from Lady Charleville to Lady Morgan. London, 13 July 1819: Florence Macarthy is in the fifth edition, and it has been dramatised with good effect at the Surrey Theatre, where the Heart of Mid Lothian was better arranged by far than at Covent Garden!’
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), II, 105.

Letter from Madame Patterson Bonaparte to Lady Morgan. Geneva, 1 Oct 1819: ‘Your Florence Macarthy is the most delightful creature, and had the greatest success with us; by the way, you should take into consideration with your bookseller in London, the profits that accrue to him from the sale of your works in America, where they are as much sought after as in Europe.’
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), II, 110.

Letter from Lady Morgan to Lady Clarke. Palazzo Corsini, Florence, 28 Oct 1819: ‘I think half the Irish reform is owing to Florence Macarthy. I expect a statue from that enlightened and grateful people. The first thing I saw here in all the booksellers’ windows was my picture stuck up with a good translation of Florence Macarthy. It is well done, and the picture pretty, but not like.’
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), II, 119.

PEACOCK, Thomas Love. NIGHTMARE ABBEY (1818: 48)

Henry Crabb Robinson, Diary entry. 22 Feb 1819: ‘I borrowed […] Nightmare Abbey, a satire by one [Peacock], sketches of character chiefly in dialogue. One Flosky is Coleridge. The other are less marked personages—geologists, metaphysicians, and sentimentalists are laughed at, but I could not laugh with the author’.
Source: The Diary of Henry Crabb Robinson: An Abridgement, ed. Derek Hudson (London: Oxford University Press, 1967), p. 60.

SCOTT, Sir Walter. ROB ROY (1818: 55)

Letter from Lady Charleville to Lady Morgan. 24 Nov 1817: ‘I have heard since I came into town yesterday, that Walter Scott has given Rob Roy to the press as his own, and says he has another novel ready.’
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), II, 73.

Lord Byron, Journal entry. 8 Jan 1821: ‘Came home—read History of Greece—before dinner had read Walter Scott’s Rob Roy.’
Source: Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie A. Marchand, 13 vols. (London: John Murray, 1973–94), VIII, 18.

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Miss Lucy Edgeworth. Callander, 20 June 1823:Rob Roy and his wife and children rose up before my imagination. Times have finally changed. It may be a satisfaction to you, and all who admire Rob Roy, to know that his burial place is a pretty, peaceful green valley, where none will disturb him […] By the bye, Harriet on our journey read Rob Roy to me, and I liked it ten times better than at first reading. My eagerness for the story being satisfied, I could stop to admire the beauty of the writing; this happens to many, I believe, on a second perusal of Scott’s works.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), II, 105.

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Ruxton. [Inverness], 3 July 1823:We had a most agreeable guide, a highlander of the Macintosh clan […] he spoke English correctly […] he knew Scott’s works, Rob Roy especially, and knew all the theories about the Parallel Roads, and explained them sensibly.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), II, 106.

Letter from the Revd Patrick Graham to Walter Scott. Manse of Aberfoyle, 31 Dec 1829: ‘The second Volume of the new edition of Rob Roy reached this remote spot two days ago; and afforded a renewal of the pleasure which its first perusal excited, enhanced as it was by an intimate acquaintance with the localities and individual characters so strikingly pourtrayed in it, till in a note to p. 203 I lighted on the startling information that I have been dead some years. Though till now unconscious of this very material change in the scene and mode of my existence, I am far from questioning a fact stated on such high authority […] My Daughter, stunned by the discovery, has hurried home from Glasgow [339] to ascertain the circumstances of her Father’s decease […] I beg leave to assure you of the unabated respect and regard with which I am, or should I say was, dear Sir Walter, your sincere friend and warm admirer.’
Source: The Private Letter Books of Sir Walter Scott, ed. Wilfred Partington (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1930), pp. 338–39.

SCOTT, Sir Walter. TALES OF MY LANDLORD. SECOND SERIES (1818: 56)

Letter from B. R. Haydon to Sir Walter Scott. 27 Feb 1817: ‘Mrs Siddons preferred the Heart of Midlothian and I heard her say in her sonorous [Editor: ?Ceres] sort of voice—like a “Mother of the Gods” in private—that your making Jeannie Deans interesting without personal beauty or youth was an instance of powers unexampled. This Novel is my favourite and ever will be.’
Source: The Private Letter Books of Sir Walter Scott, ed. Wilfred Partington (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1930), p. 115.

Letter from Sydney Smith to Lady Mary Bennett. July or Aug 1818: ‘There is a great difference of opinion about Scott’s new novel. At Holland House it is much run down: I dare not oppose my opinion to such an assay or proof-house; but it made me cry and laugh very often, and I was very sorry when it was over, so I cannot in justice call it dull.’
Source: Letters of Sydney Smith, ed. Nowell C. Smith, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953), I, 295–96.

Letter from Sydney Smith to Lord Grey. York, 24 Aug 1818: ‘I am very desirous to know what your Vote is about Walter Scott; I think it is excellent, quite as good as any of his novels excepting that in which Claverhouse is introduced, and of which I forget the name. It made me laugh, and cry fifty times, and I read it with the liveliest [298] interest. He repeats his Characters but it seems they will bear repetition. I have heard no Votes but those of Lord and Lady Holland and John Allen against, and Lord and Lady Landsdown for the Book.’
Source: Letters of Sydney Smith, ed. Nowell C. Smith, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953), I, 297–98.

Letter from Joanna Baillie to Anne Elliot. Hampstead, 29 Aug 1818: ‘Every body has read the last volume of the tale of my Landlord; and Jeany Deans is allowed by every body to be the perfection of female virtue. It is indeed a character of great simplicity & strong rectitude & not over-strained in any of its virtues. Her lover not Reuben Butler but Dumbie dykes, is a great favourite of mine. Having had in the former tales so much of the stiff borrowed phraseology of the Covenanters & allusions to Scotch law, some of the other characters appear less new than they are in reality.’
Source: Collected Letters of Joanna Baillie, ed. Judith Bailey Slagle, 2 vols. (Madison, NJ: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, and London and Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Press, 1999), I, 453.

Letter from Lady Charleville to Lady Morgan. London, 13 July 1819: Florence Macarthy is in the fifth edition, and it has been dramatised with good effect at the Surrey Theatre, where the Heart of Midlothian was better arranged by far than at Covent Garden!’
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), II, 105.

Walter Scott, Journal entry. 10 Dec 1826: ‘A third rogue writes to tell me, rather of the latest if the matter was of consequence, that he approves of the first three volumes of the H. of Midlothian but totally condemns the fourth.’
Source: The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, ed. W. E. K. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 32.

SHELLEY, Mary Wollstonecraft. FRANKENSTEIN (1818: 57)

Postscript by P. B. Shelley to letter from Mary Shelley to Marianne Hunt. 6 Aug 1817: ‘Poor Mary’s book came back with a refusal, which has put me rather in ill spirits. Does any kind friend of yours Marianne know any bookseller or has any influence with one? Any of those good tempered Robinsons? All these things are affairs of interest & preconception.’ [Editor notes that the book was turned down by Ollier.]
Source: The Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, ed. Betty T. Bennett, 3 vols. (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980–88), I, 40.

Letter from Mary Shelley to Walter Scott. Bagni di Lucca, 14 June 1818: ‘Having received from the publisher of Frankenstein the notice taken of that work in Blackwood’s magazine, and intelligence at the same time that it was to your kindness that I owed this favourable notice I hasten to return my acknowledgements and thanks, and at the same time to express the pleasure I receive from approbation of so high a value as yours.’
Source: The Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, ed. Betty T. Bennett, 3 vols. (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980–88), I, 71.

Letter from Lord Byron to John Murray. Venice, 15 May 1819: ‘Mary Godwin (now Mrs Shelley) wrote “Frankenstein”, which you have reviewed—thinking it Shelley’s—methinks it is a wonderful work for a Girl of nineteen—not nineteen, indeed, at that time.’
Source: Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie A. Marchand, 13 vols. (London: John Murray, 1973–94), VI, 126.
Also recorded in: Letters of Lord Byron ed. R. G. Howarth (London: J. M. Dent and Sons, 1936), p. 203.

HOPE, Thomas. ANASTASIUS (1819: 42)

Letter from Lady Charleville to Lady Morgan. 18 Feb 1820: ‘In the way of literature, we have all been all busied with Mr Hope’s Anastasius; or, Memoirs of a Greek, which certainly has a great deal of excellent matter in it; but upon the whole, it is a heavy book, and one which bespeaks a most unhappy feeling in its author.’
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), II, 134.

Letter from Lord Byron to John Murray. Ravenna, 22 July 1820: ‘You ask me about the books […] Anastasius good but no more written by a Greek—than by a Hebrew—’.
Source: Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie A. Marchand, 13 vols. (London: John Murray, 1973–94), VII, 138.

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Ruxton. 2 Nov 1821: ‘He [Count Ludolf, ambassador from Naples] knew Mr Hope formerly at Constantinople—says Anastasius is the best picture he ever saw of the manners and the country it depicts.’
Source: Maria Edgeworth: Letters from England 1813–1844, ed. Christina Colvin (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), p. 253.

Henry Crabb Robinson, Diary entry. 25 May 1824: ‘Began Hajji Baba
an amusing tale, the tone as unlike [79] Anastasius as possible. It sustains the character of the Persian Gil Blas with respectable ability’.
Source: The Diary of Henry Crabb Robinson: An Abridgement, ed. Derek Hudson (London: Oxford University Press, 1967), pp. 78–79.

PARNELL, William. MAURICE AND BERGHETTA (1819: 53)

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Edgeworth. 28 May 1822: ‘She [Lady Theodosia Rice] is a crumpetee in figure—more like the idea I formed of Juliette the deformed yet pleasing heroine of Mr Parnell’s able, silly novel.’
Source: Maria Edgeworth: Letters from England 1813–1844, ed. Christina Colvin (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), p. 401.

SCOTT, Sir Walter. TALES OF MY LANDLORD, THIRD SERIES (1819: 61)

Letter from Joanna Baillie to Walter Scott. 18 June 1819: ‘The Bride of Lamer Muir is exceedingly & almost painfully interesting; the Lovers there are the most engaging & interesting of all Jedediah Clieshbottom’s lovers, and the tone of the whole notwithstanding the lightning up of Caleb, who would make a most notable character in a farce, is so melancholy that it left a gloom upon my mind for a long time after I had finished the story. Tho’ I do not wish to dwell upon the subject there is one scene between the old hags, as they are preparing to straught the corpse, which struck me as fearfully natural & original’.
Source: Collected Letters of Joanna Baillie, ed. Judith Bailey Slagle, 2 vols. (Madison, NJ: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, and London and Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Press, 1999), I, 388.

Letter from Sydney Smith to Archibald Constable. York, 28 June 1819: ‘Dear Sir, I am truly obliged by your kindness in sending me the last novel of Walter Scott. It would be profanation to call him Mr. Walter Scott. I should as soon say Mr. Shakespeare or Mr. Fielding. Sir William and Lady Ashton are excellent, and highly dramatic Drumthwacket is very well done; parts of Caleb are excellent. Some of the dialogues between Bucklaw and Craigengelt are as good as can be, and both these characters very well imagined. As the author has left off writing, I shall not again be disturbed so much in my ordinary occupations. When I get hold of one of these novels, turnips, sermons and justice-business are all forgotten.’
Source: Letters of Sydney Smith, ed. Nowell C. Smith, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953), I, 328.
 
Letter from Lady Charleville to Lady Morgan. London, 13 July 1819: Florence Macarthy is in the fifth edition, and it has been dramatised with good effect at the Surrey Theatre, where the Heart of Midlothian was better arranged by far than at Covent Garden! […] Scott’s new tales offer one very beautiful story—The Bride of Lammermoor—and one bloody and dull Legend of Montrose.’
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), II, 105.

HOGG, James. WINTER EVENING TALES (1820: 34)

Letter from Lord Byron to John Murray. Ravenna, 12 Oct 1820: ‘a considerable quantity of books have arrived […] I’m thankful for your books dear Murray / But why not send Scott’s Monastery? […] Hogg’s tales rough but racy—and welcome—’.
Source: Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie A. Marchand, 13 vols. (London: John Murray, 1973–94), VII, 199–200.

HOLFORD, Margaret [afterwards HODSON, Margaret]. WARBECK OF WOLFSTEIN (1820: 35)

Letter from Lord Byron to John Murray. Ravenna, 12 Oct 1820: ‘a considerable quantity of books have arrived […] and three novels by G—d knows whom—except there is Peg Holford’s name to one of them—a Spinster whom I thought we had sent back to her spinning—’.
Source: Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie A. Marchand, 13 vols. (London: John Murray, 1973–94), VII, 200.

SCOTT, Sir Walter. ABBOT, THE (1820: 62)

Letter from Sydney Smith to J. A. [i.e. John] Murray. Foston, York, 3 Sep 1820: ‘I have just read “The Abbot”; it is far above common novels, but of very inferior execution to his others, and hardly worth reading. He has exhausted the subject of Scotland, and worn out the few characters that the early periods of Scotch history could supply him with. Meg Merrilies appears afresh in every novel.’
Source: Letters of Sydney Smith, ed. Nowell C. Smith, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953), I, 364.

Letter from J. B. S. Morritt to Walter Scott. Rokeby, 12 Sep 1820: ‘Pray desire the anonymous author of The Abbot to send me his cargo to Rokeby, as The Monastery was left at my house in London, and if The Abbot is sent to the same place he will fall into the hands of a dainty widow to whom I let my house till next January and who will not know what to make of him. Her name is Mrs Read, supposed to be derived “a non readendo”. The Abbot I hear is extremely popular, and two or three of my correspondents are in raptures with it.’
Source: The Private Letter Books of Sir Walter Scott, ed. Wilfred Partington (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1930), p. 31.

Letter from Lord Byron to John Murray. Ravenna, 16 Oct 1820:The Abbot has just arrived: many thanks; as also for The Monastery—when you send it!!! The Abbot will have more than ordinary interest for me; for an ancestor of mine by the mother’s side, Sir John Gordon of Gight, the handsomest of his day, died on a Scaffold at Aberdeen for his loyalty to Mary, of whom he was an imputed paramour as well as her relation. His fate was much commented on in the Chronicles of the time.’
Source: Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie A. Marchand, 13 vols. (London: John Murray, 1973–94), VII, 204.

Letter from Lady Louisa Stuart to Walter Scott. 4 Dec 1820: ‘At the moment you are mobbed for the Queen’s enemy; some wise mortals will have it that you wrote The Abbot to defend her, and see her pictured in poor Mary—as they would in Robertson’s History of Scotland if a new book. But I forget—The Abbot &c., are not yours; that point is cleared up […] [147] Whoever wrote The Abbot may be satisfied with its success, which was so compleat that it sent its readers back to The Monastery, and forced them to see the merits they had denied before.’
Source: Sir Walter Scott’s Post-Bag, ed. Wilfred Partington (London: John Murray, 1932), pp. 146–47.

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Ruxton. 9 Mar 1822: ‘The first volume of The Abbot or Monastery was printed [367] when one day Clerk went to Scott with an old musty record he had rummaged out, of some Monastery’s accounts in which in the bill of daily fare appeared what do you think Scott? Why oatmeal porridge I suppose or broth or broz—No such thing—stewed Almonds. In the next volume Scott’s monks were feasted on stewed Almonds and Thomson meeting Clerk exclaimed “How this Walter Scott finds out everything. I thought I had the stewed Almonds a secret snug to myself. How did he get at it?” “I told it to him” answered Clerk. If any proofs were wanting who could doubt after this of Scotts being the author of these novels.’
Source: Maria Edgeworth: Letters from England 1813–1844, ed. Christina Colvin (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), p. 366–67.

SCOTT, Sir Walter. IVANHOE (1820: 63)

Letter from Sydney Smith to Archibald Constable. Foston, 25 Dec 1819: ‘Dear Sir, I waited to thank you until I had read the novel [Ivanhoe]. There is no doubt of its success. There is nothing very powerful or striking in it; but it is uniformly agreeable, lively and interesting, and the least dull, and most easily read of any novels I remember. Pray make the author go on; I am sure he has five or six more such novels in him, therefore five or six holidays for the whole kingdom.’
Source: Letters of Sydney Smith, ed. Nowell C. Smith, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953), I, 342.

Letter from Sydney Smith to Edward Davenport. Foston, York, 3 Jan 1820: ‘Have you read “Ivanhoe”? It is the least dull, and most easily read through of all of Scott’s novels; but there are many more powerful. The subject, in novels, poems, and pictures, is half the battle. The representation of our ancient manners is a fortunate one, and ample enough for three or four novels.’
Source: Letters of Sydney Smith, ed. Nowell C. Smith, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953), I, 343.

Henry Crabb Robinson, Diary entry. 21 Jan 1820: ‘Read this week Ivanhoe. As a tale it interests me much less than the Scottish romances, but this is hardly the author’s fault. He has thrown more interest than could reasonably have been expected into a tale the manners of whose characters are so little known to us. He has contrived to work into his work a great deal of antiquarian and curious knowledge. He has, however, failed in rendering Robin Hood acceptable—the delightful hero of the old popular ballad is degraded in the modern romance into a sturdy vagrant’.
Source: The Diary of Henry Crabb Robinson: An Abridgement, ed. Derek Hudson (London: Oxford University Press, 1967), p. 62.

Letter from Lady Charleville to Lady Morgan. 18 Feb 1820: ‘Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe, with his Jewess Rebecca is worth a world of Christian Damsels. He has got nine thousand pounds for that, and his novel not published.’
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), II, 134.

SCOTT, Sir Walter. MONASTERY, THE (1820: 64)

Letter from Sydney Smith to Archibald Constable. Foston, 25 Mar 1820: ‘Dear Sir, I am much obliged by your present of The Monastery, which I have read, and which I must humbly confess I admire less than any of the others—much less. Such I think you will find the judgement of the public to be. The idea of painting ancient manners in a fictitious story and in well known scenery is admirable; but nothing is done without pains, and I doubt whether pains have been taken in The Monastery,—if they have, they have failed. It is quite childish to introduce supernatural agency; as much of the terrors and follies of superstition as you please, but no actual ghosts and [351] hobgoblins. I recommend one novel every year, and more pains.’
Source: Letters of Sydney Smith, ed. Nowell C. Smith, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953), I, 350–51.

Letter from J. B. S. Morritt to Walter Scott. Rokeby, 12 Sep 1820: ‘Pray desire the anonymous author of The Abbot to send me his cargo to Rokeby, as The Monastery was left at my house in London, and if The Abbot is sent to the same place he will fall into the hands of a dainty widow to whom I let my house till next January and who will not know what to make of him. Her name is Mrs Read, supposed to be derived “a non readendo”. The Abbot I hear is extremely popular, and two or three of my correspondents are in raptures with it.’
Source: The Private Letter Books of Sir Walter Scott, ed. Wilfred Partington (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1930), p. 31.

Letter from Lord Byron to John Murray. Ravenna, 12 Oct 1820: ‘a considerable quantity of books have arrived […] I’m thankful for your books dear Murray / But why not send Scott’s Monastery?’
Source: Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie A. Marchand, 13 vols. (London: John Murray, 1973–94), VII, 200.

Letter from Lord Byron to John Murray. Ravenna, 16 Oct 1820:The Abbot has just arrived: many thanks; as also for The Monastery—when you send it!!! The Abbot will have more than ordinary interest for me; for an ancestor of mine by the mother’s side, Sir John Gordon of Gight, the handsomest of his day, died on a Scaffold at Aberdeen for his loyalty to Mary, of whom he was an imputed paramour as well as her relation. His fate was much commented on in the Chronicles of the time.’
Source: Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie A. Marchand, 13 vols. (London: John Murray, 1973–94), VII, 204.

Letter from Lady Louisa Stuart to Walter Scott. 4 Dec 1820: ‘At the moment you are mobbed for the Queen’s enemy; some wise mortals will have it that you wrote The Abbot to defend her, and see her pictured in poor Mary—as they would in Robertson’s History of Scotland if a new book. But I forget—The Abbot &c., are not yours; that point is cleared up […] Whoever wrote The Abbot may be satisfied with its success, which was so compleat that it sent its readers back to The Monastery, and forced them to see the merits they had denied before.’
Source: Sir Walter Scott’s Post-Bag, ed. Wilfred Partington (London: John Murray, 1932), p. 146.

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Ruxton. 9 Mar 1822: ‘The first volume of The Abbot or Monastery was printed [367] when one day Clerk went to Scott with an old musty record he had rummaged out, of some Monastery’s accounts in which in the bill of daily fare what appeared do you think Scott? Why oatmeal porridge I suppose or broth or broz—No such thing—stewed Almonds. In the next volume Scott’s monks were feasted on stewed Almonds and Thomson meeting Clerk exclaimed “How this Walter Scott finds out everything. I thought I had the stewed Almonds a secret snug to myself. How did he get at it?” “I told it to him” answered Clerk. If any proofs were wanting who could doubt after this of Scotts being the author of these novels.’
Source: Maria Edgeworth: Letters from England 1813–1844, ed. Christina Colvin (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), pp. 366–67.

GALT, John. ANNALS OF THE PARISH (1821: 36)

Letter from Joanna Baillie to Walter Scott. 3 Aug 1821: ‘Mrs Baillie got the annals of the parish forthwith, and I read with much satisfaction about one half of it, when by cross luck the book was sent out of the house to be lent to some good friend of hers, and I have been plaguing our Hampstead circulating library about it ever since.’
Source: Collected Letters of Joanna Baillie, ed. Judith Bailey Slagle, 2 vols. (Madison, NJ: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, and London and Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Press, 1999), I, 402.

KELTY, Mary Ann. FAVOURITE OF NATURE, THE (1821: 54)

Letter from Mrs Kinloch to Susan Ferrier [referring to Ferrier’s Marriage]: ‘I felt a little nervous till I read a few chapters, so seldom do things answer our expectations, and so many failures are daily occurring in the literary way, witness “Trials” by the “Favourite of Nature”, such trials to be sure to read such stuff! And yet what a beautiful thing the “Favourite” is’.
Source: Memoir and Correspondence of Susan Ferrier. 1782–1854. Collected by her Grandnephew John Ferrier, ed. John A. Doyle (London: Eveleigh, Nash and Grayson, 1929), p. 180.

LOCKHART, John Gibson. VALERIUS (1821: 56)

Unsigned letter to Lady Charlotte Bury. Quoted in diary entry, dated 4 Nov 1817 [sic]: ‘The greater wonder of the day, I think, is that “Adam Blair” should be the author of “Valerius”—two works so totally different in every respect. What prodigious versatility of power the writer of them must possess! Of course you know it is Mr Lockhart, the son-in-law of Scott.’
Source: Lady Charlotte Bury, The Diary of a Lady-In-Waiting, ed. A. F. Steuart, 2 vols. (London and New York: John Lane, 1908), II, 115.

Letter from Joanna Baillie to Walter Scott. 3 Aug 1821: ‘I have had better luck however, in regarding the other work you mentioned—Valerius. I have got it from the Hampstead Library for 2d a night and read it out stoup & roup, as we say in the west of Scotland […] There is great power of discription [sic] in the work, and the delineation of roman manners is animated & pleasing. I was very much pleased with the scenes at the roman villa, at the amphitheatre & the execution of the Traitor in the court of the prison, and in short the whole of the first volume interested me much; but the second pleased me less and the ending was not satisfactory.’
Source: Collected Letters of Joanna Baillie, ed. Judith Bailey Slagle, 2 vols. (Madison, NJ: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, and London and Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Press, 1999), I, 402.

SCOTT, Sir Walter. KENILWORTH (1821: 64)

Letter from Sydney Smith to Archibald Constable. Foston, 26 Jan 1821: ‘Dear Sir, Very good indeed; there cannot and will not be two opinions upon it. The dialogues are a little too long. Pray let us have no more Dominie Sampsons—good, but stale. These are trifling faults, but the author has completely recovered himself, and the novel is excellent […] Flibbertigibbet is very good and very new.’
Source: Letters of Sydney Smith, ed. Nowell C. Smith, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953), I, 373.

Letter from Sydney Smith to Lady Grey. 9 Feb 1821: ‘I hope Lord Grey and you like the new novel [Kenilworth] : I think it very good, and entertaining, though far inferior to those novels where the scene is laid in Scotland.’
Source: Letters of Sydney Smith, ed. Nowell C. Smith, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953), I, 374.

Letter from Sir Alexander Boswell to Walter Scott. 19 Feb 1821: ‘On my return home I have finished the perusal of Kenilworth with a degree of satisfaction and astonishment at the powers of the Authour even exceeding what I enjoyed before.’
Source: Sir Walter Scott’s Post-Bag, ed. Wilfred Partington (London: John Murray, 1932), p. 152.

Letter from Mrs Mary Ann Hughes to Walter Scott. 19 Feb 1821: ‘My dear Sir, Pray do not imagine that I am making an attempt to raise the veil of mystery which covers the “Great Unknown.” Be he who he may, the Author of Waverley and his delightful younger brethren must be known to you; and perhaps you may amuse him with the sensation which Kenilworth has occasioned in this neighbourhood.’
Source: Sir Walter Scott’s Post-Bag, ed. Wilfred Partington (London: John Murray, 1932), p. 150.

Prince
Pückler-Muskau. Birmingham, 29 Dec 1826: ‘A few posts down from Leamington, in a country which gradually becomes more solitary and dreary, lies Kenilworth. With Sir Walter Scott’s captivating book in my hand I wandered amid these ruins, which call up such varied feelings.’
Source: A Regency Visitor: The English Tour of Prince
Pückler-Muskau, Described in his Letters, 1826–1828, ed. E. M. Butler (London: Collins, 1957), p. 131.

COOPER, James Fenimore. SPY, THE (1822: 24)

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Ruxton. 8 July 1821:Next week another book will be there for you—an American novel Mrs Griffin sent to me, The Spy; quite new scenes and characters, humour and pathos, a picture of America in Washington’s time; a surgeon worthy of Smollett or Moore, and quite different from any of their various surgeons; and an Irishwoman, Betty Flanegan, incomparable.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), II, 29.

GASPEY, Thomas. LOLLARDS, THE (1822: 35)

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Ruxton. 7 Aug 1822: ‘Never read The Lollards if it falls in your way, unless you like to see John Huss burned over again. What pleasures have people in such horrid subjects?’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), II, 88.

HOOK, James. PEN OWEN (1822: 45)

Letter from Mrs Grant of Laggan to Mrs Hook. 20 Feb 1824: ‘I have not much leisure for new books; yet I have read “Pen Owen,” which was sent to me by Mr Henry Mackenzie, who liked it much. I thought there was much of exceeding good wit and sound argument in it’.
Source: Memoirs and Correspondence of Mrs Grant of Laggan, ed. J. P. Laggan, 3 vols. (London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1844), III, 46.

IRVING, Washington. BRACEBRIDGE HALL (1822: 46)

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Ruxton. 8 July 1821 [1822?]: ‘Ages ago I sent Bracebridge Hall to Merrion Street for you: Have you got it?’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), II, 29.

LOCKHART, John Gibson. SOME PASSAGES IN THE LIFE OF MR ADAM BLAIR MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL AT CROSS-MEIKLE (1822: 54)

Unsigned letter to Lady Charlotte Bury. Quoted in diary entry, dated 4 Nov 1817 [sic]: ‘The greater wonder of the day, I think, is that “Adam Blair” should be the author of “Valerius”—two works so totally different in every respect. What prodigious versatility of power the writer of them must possess! Of course you know it is Mr Lockhart, the son-in-law of Scott.’
Source: Lady Charlotte Bury, The Diary of a Lady-In-Waiting, ed. A. F. Steuart, 2 vols. (London and New York: John Lane, 1908), II, 115.

SCOTT, Sir Walter. FORTUNES OF NIGEL, THE (1822: 66)

Letter from Mrs Mary Ann Hughes to Walter Scott. 1822: ‘the author of Nigel has brought Fleet Street so compleatly into fashion that now I consider myself as living in the most approved part of the town.’
Source: Sir Walter Scott’s Post-Bag, ed. Wilfred Partington (London: John Murray, 1932), p. 168.

Letter from Lady Stafford to Walter Scott. 1822: ‘Have you by any chance seen a work called The Fortunes of Nigel? All the world pronounces it excellent—even the nicest critics and those who are the most fastidious, say it is a most perfect and finished book. Nobody will own these novels, so why may not I declare myself at once the Author?’
Source: Sir Walter Scott’s Post-Bag, ed. Wilfred Partington (London: John Murray, 1932), p. 168.

Letter from Sydney Smith to Archibald Constable. Foston, 21 June 1822: ‘Many thanks for Nigel; a far better novel than The Pirate, though not of the highest order of Scott’s novels. It is the first novel in which there is no Meg Merrilies. There is, however, a Dominie Sampson in the horologer. The first volume is admirable. Nothing can be better than the apprentices, the shop of old Heriot, the state of the city. James is quite excellent wherever he appears. I do not dislike Alsatia. The miser’s daughter is very good; so is the murder. The story execrable; the gentlemanlike, light, witty conversation always (as in all his novels) very bad. Horrors on humour are his forte. He must avoid running into length
great part of the second volume very long and tiresome; but upon the whole the novel will do—keeps up the reputation of the author; and does not impair the very noble and honourable estate which he has in his brains.’
Source: Letters of Sydney Smith, ed. Nowell C. Smith, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953), I, 389.

Letter from Mrs Grant of Laggan. Edinburgh, 9 July 1822: ‘I am glad you are so pleased with the “Fortunes of Nigel,” which I consider as a wonderful effort of genius, ever new and inexhaustible. Who but the Knight of Abbotsford could lead you through Alsatia, and the other scenes of vice and folly, without awakening a blush on the cheek of genuine delicacy. Yet I had a letter from a friend in the South, who had not then seen the book, in which she informs me that in England it is accounted a failure. Honest John Bull has not seen such a failure on his side of the Tweed since Shakespeare’s time.’
Source: Memoirs and Correspondence of Mrs Grant of Laggan, ed. J. P. Laggan, 3 vols. (London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1844), III, 2.

SCOTT, Sir Walter. PEVERIL OF THE PEAK (1822: 67)

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs O’Beirne. 15 Jan 1823:We are delighted with Peveril, though there is too much of the dwarfs and the elfie. Scott cannot deny himself one of these spirits in some shape or other; I hope that we shall find that this elfin page, who has the powers of shrinking or expanding, as it seems, to suit the occasion, is made really necessary to the story.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), II, 92.

SCOTT, Sir Walter. PIRATE, THE (1822: 68)

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Miss Charlotte Sneyd. Christmas Day, 1821: ‘I hope this will find you well enough to be able to hear her [Mrs Edgeworth] read to you Walter Scott’s new novel. I send the 1st volume, which nobody here has seen. Tho there have appeared extracts in the Literary Gazette no one whom I have seen has yet read the book. Those extracts must have been made before the book was published. We would not forestal our pleasure by reading them. I hope the book may amuse you. It is the surest means I can think of adding to your Christmas sociability. Not Christmas pye or goose pye, nor Sir Roger de Coverley in all his glory can unite in pleasure every Christmas party so surely as a new novel of Scotts—that inexhaustible genius. // We shall have a copy for ourselves today or tomorrow. Mr Carr is going to buy it and he will read it to us.’
Source: Maria Edgeworth: Letters from England 1813–1844, ed. Christina Colvin (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), p. 300.

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Edgeworth. 29 Dec 1821: ‘We read—I mean we heard read by Mr. Carr who reads admirably—half the first volume of the Pirate—stopped at the chapter ending with the description of the Witch Norna of Fitful head. We are much pleased and interested especially with the beautiful description of the Mordants education and employments—the sea monsters &c—most poetical—in Scott’s master style—the description of the two sisters excellent—the miser Baby diverting—The manner in which by scarcely perceptible touches he wakens the readers interest for his hero admirable—unequalled by all but Shakespear.—The satire upon modern agriculturists in the character of Yellowly excellent. But I fear the repetition of Meg Merrilies. We shall see.’
Source: Maria Edgeworth: Letters from England 1813–1844, ed. Christina Colvin (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), p. 302.

Letter from Sydney Smith to Francis Jeffrey. 30 Dec 1821: ‘The “Pirate”, I am afraid, has been scared and alarmed by the Beacon! It is certainly one of the least fortunate of Sir Walter Scott’s productions. It seems now that he can write nothing without Meg Merrilies and Dominie Samson! One other such novel, and there’s an end; but who can last for ever? who ever lasted so long?’
Source: Letters of Sydney Smith, ed. Nowell C. Smith, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953), I, 385.

Letter from Sydney Smith to Archibald Constable. Foston, 21 June 1822: ‘Many thanks for Nigel; a far better novel than The Pirate, though not of the highest order of Scott’s novels.’
Source:
Letters of Sydney Smith, ed. Nowell C. Smith, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953), I, 389.

WILSON, John. LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF SCOTTISH LIFE (1822: 82)

Unsigned letter to Lady Charlotte Bury. Quoted in diary entry, dated 4 Nov 1817 [sic]: ‘On my return home, I found several letters from England; amongst them, one from Miss [——], in which she speaks of W[——]’s “Lights and Shadows of Scottish Life”; and her opinion is valuable and curious, as being that of a clever writer. She says: // I hear you were charmed with the “Lights and Shadows of Scottish Life.” Some of them I think beautiful, some of them ridiculous, and all want truth and reality; for though I still can relish a fairy tale or a romance, yet I do [115] not like fiction in the garb of truth. As mere creations of fancy, they are fine; as pictures of Scottish life and human nature, they are false. But do not let me forget this Mr. [——] is an awful man to have for one’s enemy.’
Source: Lady Charlotte Bury, The Diary of a Lady-In-Waiting, ed. A. F. Steuart, 2 vols. (London and New York: John Lane, 1908), II, 114–15.

GALT, John. SPAEWIFE, THE (1823: 35)

Walter Scott, Journal entry. 19 July 1829: ‘I read the Spaewife of Galt. There is something good in it and the language is occasionally very forcible but he has made his story difficult to understand by adopting a region of history little known and having many heroes of the same name whom it is not easy to keep separate in the memory. Some of the traits of the Spaewife who conceits herself to be a Changeling or Ta’en away is very good indeed. His highland chief is a kind of Caliban and speaks like Caliban a jargon never spoken on earth but full of effect for all that.’
Source: The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, ed. W. E. K. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 587.

LAMB, Lady Caroline. ADA REIS (1823: 52)

Letter from Lady Caroline Lamb to Lady Morgan. Oct 1823: ‘Thank you and thank Sir Charles for all his kindness about my fairy tale, Ada Reis, although I think [179] he uses a rod even whilst he is merciful.’
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), II, 178–79.

LOCKHART, John Gibson. REGINALD DALTON (1823: 57)

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Miss Lucy Edgeworth. 20 June 1823:We are reading Reginald Dalton, and like it very much, the second volume especially, which will be very useful, I think, and is very interesting. I am sure Mr. Lockhart describes his own wife’s singing when he describes Ellen’s.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), II, 106.

SCOTT, Sir Walter. QUENTIN DURWARD (1823: 74)

Letter from Mrs Mary Ann Hughes to Walter Scott. Leamington, 27 May 1823: ‘One reason more I now have for wishing to get home, and that is to be enabled to read Quentin Durward “at mine ease and in mine arbour.” The eagerness to read it here is such that though there are 6 sets in the Library, I could only obtain the 2nd volume an hour ago; and the time allowed to read it is only twelve hours. I was in the library yesterday when a vulgar, showily-dressed lady came in and enquired angrily why Squintin Durfot, which everybody was talking of, had not been sent to her.” The man in the shop explained, that as she has not put her name on the list, she must wait till her turn came, that he would immediately insert her on the list, and that she would receive it in rotation. This appeased her, and she departed saying, “Very well, as no offence is meant ’tis all very well; only my money is as good as another, and I like to be in the fashion. So, Sir, when my rotation comes, be sure to send the book.” Pearls before Swine, thought I.’
Source: Sir Walter Scott’s Post-Bag, ed. Wilfred Partington (London: John Murray, 1932), p. 181.

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Ruxton. 8 June 1823:Quentin Durward was lying on the table. Mrs Skene took it up and said, “This is really too barefaced.” Scott, when pointing to the hospital built by Heriot, said, “That was built by one Heriot, you know, the jeweller, in Charles the Second’s time.” // There was an arch simplicity in his look at which we could hardly forbear laughing.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), II, 101.

SHELLEY, Mary Wollstonecraft. VALPERGA (1823: 75)

Letter from Mary Shelley to Maria Gisborne. Pisa, 9 Feb 1822: ‘I have sent my novel to Papa—I long to hear some news of it—as with all authors vanity I want to see it in print & hear the praises of my friends’.
Source: The Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, ed. Betty T. Bennett, 3 vols. (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980–88), I, 218.

Letter from Mary Shelley to Maria Gisborne. Albaro, 3–6 May 1823: ‘Did the End of Beatrice surprise you. I am surprised that none of these Literary Gazettes are shocked—I feared that they would stumble over a part of what I read to you and still more over my Anathema. I wish much to see it
as my father has made some curtailments—but the vessel has not yet arrived. Is not the catastrophe strangely prophetic? But it seems to me that in what I have hitherto written I have done nothing but prophecy what has arrived to. Matilda foretells even many small circumstances most truly—& the whole of it is a monument of what now is—’.
Source: The Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, ed. Betty T. Bennett, 3 vols. (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980–88), I, 336.

FERRIER, Susan Edmonstone. INHERITANCE, THE (1824: 33)

Letter from Mrs Grant of Laggan to Mrs Hook. Edinburgh, 23 June 1824: ‘I have just finished a hasty perusal of a new work by the same author; called the Inheritance, and join the general voice in pronouncing it clever, though there is, perhaps, too much caricature throughout. Pray read it; there is strong sense in it, and it keeps attention awake even when it does not entirely please.’
Source: Memoirs and Correspondence of Mrs Grant of Laggan, ed. J. P. Laggan, 3 vols. (London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1844), III, 57.

Letter from William Blackwood to Susan Ferrier: ‘On Saturday I lent in confidence to a very clever person, upon whose discretion I can rely, the two volumes of “The Inheritance.” This morning I got them back with the following note: // “My dear Sir,—I am truly delighted with “The Inheritance.” I do not find as yet any one character quite equal to “Dr. [Redgill]”—except perhaps the good-natured old tumbled maiden—but as a novel it is a hundred miles above “Marriage.” It reminds one of Miss Austen’s very best things in every page, and if the third volume be like these, no fear of success Triumphant.” // I could not resist sending you this, and hope you will be pleased with it’.
Source: Memoir and Correspondence of Susan Ferrier. 1782–1854. Collected by her Grandnephew John Ferrier, ed. John A. Doyle (London: Eveleigh, Nash and Grayson, 1929), p. 174.

Letter from Mademoiselle de la Chaux to Susan Ferrier: ‘At last, dear Miss Ferrier, I have obtained possession of the long wished for book! I cannot say how delighted I have been on reading it. For this year past I was led by the nose by the vain promises of Paris and Geneva booksellers, and finally applied to the fountain head of all good things, London, by means of a friend, and I got a copy of the second edition.’
Source: Memoir and Correspondence of Susan Ferrier. 1782–1854. Collected by her Grandnephew John Ferrier, ed. John A. Doyle (London: Eveleigh, Nash and Grayson, 1929), p. 184.

Letter from Susan Ferrier to Mrs Connell: ‘I am very glad you all liked “The Inheritance” so much. It seems to have been wonderfully successful, but both Sir Walter and Mr Mackenzie took it by the hand at the very first, which of course gave it a lift.’
Source: Memoir and Correspondence of Susan Ferrier. 1782–1854. Collected by her Grandnephew John Ferrier, ed. John A. Doyle (London: Eveleigh, Nash and Grayson, 1929), p. 179.

HOOK, James. PERCY MALLORY (1824: 51)

Letter from Mrs Grant of Laggan to Mrs Hook. 20 Feb 1824: ‘I have only the first volume of the last novel, “Percy Mallory”. It is written with considerable power, and the Grandisonian scenes are extremely amusing; but the dialogue, though clever and witty, has too much of the “snip-snap short and interruption smart”, of the old comedy.’
Source: Memoirs and Correspondence of Mrs Grant of Laggan, ed. J. P. Laggan, 3 vols. (London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1844), III, 46.

KELTY, Mary Ann. TRIALS (1824: 58)

Letter from Mrs Kinloch to Susan Ferrier [referring to Ferrier’s Marriage]: ‘I felt a little nervous till I read a few chapters, so seldom do things answer our expectations, and so many failures are daily occurring in the literary way, witness “Trials” by the “Favourite of Nature”, such trials to be sure to read such stuff! And yet what a beautiful thing the “Favourite” is’.
Source: Memoir and Correspondence of Susan Ferrier. 1782–1854. Collected by her Grandnephew John Ferrier, ed. John A. Doyle (London: Eveleigh, Nash and Grayson, 1929), p. 180.

MITFORD, Mary Russell. OUR VILLAGE (1824: 67)

Mary Somerville. 1816: ‘Miss Baillie’s plays, though highly poetical, are not suited to the stage. Miss Mitford was more successful, for some of her plays were repeatedly acted. She is also an excellent writer. Our Village is perfect of its kind; nothing can be more animated than her description of a game of cricket.’
Source:
Mary Somerville, Personal Recollections from Early Life to Old Age, with Selections of her Correspondence by her Daughter, Martha Somerville (London: John Murray, 1873); in The Scotswoman at Home and Abroad: Non-Fictional Writing 1700–1900, ed. Dorothy McMillan (Glasgow: Association for Scottish Literary Studies, 1999), p. 126.

MORIER, James Justinian. ADVENTURES OF HAJJI BABA, THE (1824: 70)

Henry Crabb Robinson, Diary entry. 25 May 1824: ‘Began Hajji Baba—an amusing tale, the tone as unlike [79] Anastasius as possible. It sustains the character of the Persian Gil Blas with respectable ability’.
Source: The Diary of Henry Crabb Robinson: An Abridgement, ed. Derek Hudson (London: Oxford University Press, 1967), p. 78.

Henry Crabb Robinson, Diary entry. 5 June 1824: ‘Finished Hajji Baba—the most pleasant book written in imitation of Eastern style I ever met with. Humour and gaiety throughout, and no Oriental bombast; only enough of Orientalism to be comic and humorous and yet sufficiently characteristic. The incidents bear a resemblance to those of Gil Blas, and are unconnected adventures of an unprincipled knave whom the reader does not care about but does not hate’.
Source: The Diary of Henry Crabb Robinson: an abridgement, ed. Derek Hudson (London: Oxford University Press, 1967), p. 79.

SCOTT, Sir Walter. REDGAUNTLET (1824: 83)

Letter from Mrs Grant of Laggan to Mrs Hook. 23 June 1824: ‘this leads me to Redgauntlet, where Sir Walter is himself again. Who says that his forte is low characters? I do not meet in books, and very rarely in life, such gentlemen as his, with sentiments so just, so manly, and so happily expressed’.
Source: Memoirs and Correspondence of Mrs Grant of Laggan, ed. J. P. Laggan, 3 vols. (London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1844), III, 57.

SCOTT, Sir Walter. ST RONAN’S WELL (1824: 84)

Letter from Mrs Grant of Laggan to Mrs Smith. 6 Feb 1824: ‘I have dipped into the new “Well”, which was fit and proper for me to do so, as all the family were plashing in it, and it is one of my duties to influence their judgements, as well as to lead their taste, if taste can be led […] // This work is, in short, what none of the rest were, an obvious intentional satire; and we do not follow him so readily in this new and thorny walk. The story, I grant, hangs very ill together, and so do Shakespeare’s; but there is character, sense and truth, and the moral is good.’
Source: Memoirs and Correspondence of Mrs Grant of Laggan, ed. J. P. Laggan, 3 vols. (London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1844), III, 41.

Letter from Mary Shelley to Edward John Trelawny. London, 22 ?Mar 1824: ‘These are almost our only novelties; Lady Morgan’s Life of Salvator Rosa is pronounced dull—St Ronan’s well—one of the worst of the Great Unknown—the reviews I never read’.
Source: The Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, ed. Betty T. Bennett, 3 vols. (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980–88), I, 416.

BANIM, John & Michael. TALES, BY THE O’HARA FAMILY (1825: 13)

Letter from Gerald Griffin to his brother. 7 Apr 1825: ‘Have you seen Banim’s O’Hara Tales?—if not, read them, and say what you think of them. I think them most vigorous and original things; overflowing with the very spirit of poetry, passion and painting, if you think otherwise, don’t say so. My friend W—— sends me word that they are well written. All our critics here say they are admirably written; that nothing since Scott’s first novels has equalled them.’
Source: Patrick Joseph Murray, The Life of John Banim (London: William Lay, 1857), pp. 154–55.

Letter from John Banim to Michael Banim. 1 May 1825: ‘You ask me a very vital question. How do the books sell? Very well. The publishers are quite contented: big with hopes. I will be ready with a tale in three volumes by next Christmas […] It is to be called “The Boyne Water”.’
Source: Patrick Joseph Murray, The Life of John Banim (London: William Lay, 1857), p. 157.

CROWE, Eyre Evans? or PHIPPS, Constantine Henry, Marquis of Normanby?. ENGLISH IN ITALY, THE (1825:23)

Walter Scott, Journal entry. 9 Feb 1826: ‘I would not write to-day […] I read The English in Italy which is a clever book.’
Source:
The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, ed. W. E. K. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 82

GALT, John. OMEN, THE (1825: 31)

Walter Scott, Journal entry. 1 June 1826: ‘Yesterday I also finished a few trifling Memoranda on a book called the Omen at Blackwood’s request. There is something in [153] the work which pleases me and the stile is good though the story is not artfully constructed.’
Source: The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, ed. W. E. K. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), pp. 152–53.

GLEIG, George Robert. SUBALTERN, THE (1825: 33)

Duke of Wellington, conversation as recorded by John Wilson Croker: ‘ “The Subaltern” [Mr. Gleig’s book, which I had brought with me and lent the Duke of Wellington, who had not before seen it] is all true enough. Two points which fell under my own personal view are quite so. I mean the scene in which he describes my meeting his regiment, and my rallying the army after Sir John Hope was wounded. But the Subaltern talks too much of his own personal comforts, and too little of his men; if you believe him implicitly, you would imagine that he thought of nothing but his own dinner’.
Source: The Croker Papers: Correspondence and Diaries of John Wilson Croker, ed. Louis J. Jennings, 3 vols. (London: John Murray, 1884), I, 345.

SHERER, Joseph Moyle. STORY OF A LIFE, THE (1825: 74)

Lady Charlotte Bury, Diary entry. 2 July 1819 [sic]: ‘Spent a quiet day at home. Read “The Story of a Life”, by Sherer; a powerfully written book with vivid description and truth of portraiture, both as to human character and to the effects of the scenery of nature. It has much interest, and a fine vein of religious morality distinguishes it from the commonplace productions of literature.’
Source: Lady Charlotte Bury, The Diary of a Lady-In-Waiting, ed. A. F. Steuart, 2 vols. (London and New York: John Lane, 1908), II, 195.

AINSWORTH, William Harrison (& ASTON, John Partington?). SIR JOHN CHIVERTON (1826: 9)

Walter Scott, Journal Entry. 17 Oct 1826: ‘Read over Sir John Chiverton and Brambletye House, novels in what I may surely claim as the stile // Which I was born to introduce / Refined it first and showd its use. // They are both clever books, one in imitation of the days of chivalry, the other by John [sic] Smith. […] I read both with great interest during the journey.’
Source:
The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, ed. W. E. K. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 213.

BANIM, John & Michael. BOYNE WATER, THE (1826: 13)

Letter from John Banim to Michael Banim. 1 May 1825: ‘You ask me a very vital question. How do the books sell? Very well. The publishers are quite contented: big with hopes. I will be ready with a tale in three volumes by next Christmas […] It is to be called “The Boyne Water”.’
Source: Patrick Joseph Murray, The Life of John Banim (London: William Lay, 1857), p. 157.

Letter from Mrs [John] Banim to Michael Banim. 30 Sep 1825: ‘Dear Michael,—John is so much occupied at present, that I scarcely even see his face from 9 o’clock in the morning to six in the evening—when, after rapping for some time at the ceiling, for he works overhead, I go up to the door, put on the most hungry face I can, and complain of my starving state: when he issues forth, he is the true picture of stupidity. He has himself denied to all visitors since our arrival from France, and the whole, long, long day he is shut up, with his plaguy “Boyne Water”.’
Source: Patrick Joseph Murray, The Life of John Banim (London: William Lay, 1857), p. 162.

Letter from Gerald Griffin to his brother. 1825: ‘I dined with Banim last week, and found him far gone in a new novel, now just finished, “The Boyne Water”, (good name!) which is far superior, in my humble judgement, to the “O’Hara Family”.’
Source: Patrick Joseph Murray, The Life of John Banim (London: William Lay, 1857), p. 163.

BANIM, John & Michael. TALES BY THE O’HARA FAMILY. SECOND SERIES (1826: 14)

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Bannatyne. 26 Feb 1827:Have you seen the Tales of the O’Hara Family—the second series? They are of unequal value; one called the ‘Nowlans’ is a work of great genius.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), II, 148.

DISRAELI, Benjamin, Earl of Beaconsfield. VIVIAN GREY (1826: 30)

Cyrus Redding: ‘Mr Disraeli published “Vivian Grey” about this time. The characters were supposed to be drawn from real life. At least it was clearly implied that though the author did not intend to depict Lord A. or Lady B., yet he drew his outlines from those seen in the fashionable circles […] // It was at the time Mr Diraeli incog, was publishing a periodical paper called the “Star Chamber”, of which the public took little notice, that the first two volumes of “Vivian Grey” made their appearance […] // Mr Disraeli reviewed and extolled his own book in its columns. Calling one day upon Colburn, who published “Vivian Grey”, he said to me: “I have a capital book out, ‘Vivian Grey’, the authorship is a great secret—a man of high fashion—very high—keeps the first society. I can assure you it is a most piquant and spirited work, quite sparkling.” ’
Source: Cyrus Redding, Fifty Years’ Recollections, 3 vols. (London: Charles J. Skeet, 1858), III, 321.

Letter from Sir Charles Morgan to Lady Morgan. 29 May 1826: ‘I am reading Vivian Grey, at night, and in bed in the morning.’
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), II, 229.
 
Letter from Maria Edgeworth. 8 Apr 1827: We are reading the second part of Vivian Grey, which we like better than the first. There is a scene of gamesters and swindlers wonderfully well done.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), II, 150.

Walter Scott, Journal entry. 11 June 1827: ‘reading among the rest an odd volume of Vivian Grey—clever but not so much as to make [me] in this sultry weather go up stairs to the drawing room to seek the other volumes.’
Source: The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, ed. W. E. K. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 314.

HUDSON, Marianne Spencer. ALMACK’S A NOVEL (1826: 47)

Walter Scott, Journal entry. 12 Mar 1827: ‘I have been trying to read a new novel which I have heard praised. It is called Almacks and the author has so well succeeded in describing the cold selfish fopperies of the time that the copy is almost as dull as the original. I think I will take up my bundle of Sheriff-court processes instead of Almacks as the more entertaining avocation of the two.’
Source: The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, ed. W. E. K. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 287.

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Miss Ruxton. 8 Apr 1827: ‘I know who wrote Almack’s. Lady de Ros tells me it is by Mrs Purvis, sister to Lady Blessington; this accounts for both the knowledge of high, and habits of low, life which appear in the book.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), II, 150.

LISTER, Thomas Henry. GRANBY (1826: 51)

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Miss Ruxton. 27 Jan 1826:Happy in the garden looking at crocuses, contriving new beds, etc.; happy in the house when Harriet reads out, while Sophy works, Granby at night and Peel’s and Robinson’s speeches by day.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), II, 141.

Walter Scott, Journal entry. 28 Mar 1826: ‘Reading at intervals a novel called Grandby one of that very difficult class which aspires to describe the actual current of society; whose colours are so evanescent that it is difficult to fix them on the canvas. It is well written but over labourd.’
Source:
The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, ed. W. E. K. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 121.

SCOTT, Sir Walter. WOODSTOCK (1826: 70)

Walter Scott, Journal entry. 3 Feb 1826: ‘J. B. [James Ballantyne] is severely critical on what he calls imitations of Mrs Radcliffe in Woodstock—many will think with him—yet I am of the opinion that he is quite wrong or, as friend J. F. [James Ferrier] says, vrong.’
Source: The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, ed. W. E. K. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 75.

Letter from J. G. Lockhart to Walter Scott. 13 Mar 1826: ‘I was, I own, anxious as to Woodstock. Any approach to want of spirit would have been most unhappy at this moment. But here you are safe. I am confident that the whole series from Waverley downwards does not contain anything more continuously excellent, and have very considerable doubts whether there is anything in the world—even in Macbeth—better than the scene where Wildrake first sees Oliver’.
Source: Sir Walter Scott’s Post-Bag, ed. Wilfred Partington (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1932), p. 222.

SHELLEY, Mary Wollstonecraft. LAST MAN, THE (1826: 71)

Letter from Mary Shelley to Charles Ollier? Kentish Town, 15 Nov 1825: ‘The title of my book is to be simply “The Last Man, a Romance, by the Author of Frankenstein.”—As soon as Mr. Colburn has made the communication of which he speaks it will be ready—that is two volumes are quite ready     the third will be prepared long before those are printed—Mr Colburn can therefore send it to the press immediately—’.
Source: The Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, ed. Betty T. Bennett, 3 vols. (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980–88), I, 504.

Letter from Mary Shelley to John Howard Payne. Kentish Town, 29 Nov 1825: ‘I am a good deal engaged to in bringing out my Romance which is gone to the press at last […] It is called “The Last Man.” Colburn gives me £300 for it and is bringing it out as fast as possible.’
Source: The Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, ed. Betty T. Bennett, 3 vols. (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980–88), I, 505.

SMITH, Horatio. BRAMBLETYE HOUSE (1826: 72)

Cyrus Redding [having been for a walk near Tonbridge with Horatio Smith]: ‘I believe this ramble induced Smith to try his hand at novel writing. “Brambletye House”, his best effort, followed soon afterwards.’
Source: Cyrus Redding, Fifty Years’ Recollections, 3 vols. (London: Charles J. Skeet, 1858), II, 210.

Walter Scott, Journal entry 17 Oct 1826: ‘Read over Sir John Chiverton and Brambletye House, novels in what I may surely claim as the stile // Which I was born to introduce, / Refined it first and showd its use. // They are both clever books, one in imitation of the days of chivalry, the other by John [sic] Smith one of the authors of Rejected Addressses, dated in the time of the civil wars and introducing historical characters. I read both with great interest during the journey.’
Source:
The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, ed. W. E. K. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 213.

COOPER, James Fenimore. PRAIRIE, THE (1827: 24)

Walter Scott, Journal entry. 28 Jan 1828: ‘I have read Cooper’s Prairie, better I think than his Red Rover in which you never get foot on shore and to understand entirely the incidents of the story it requires too much nautical language. It is very clever though.’
Source:
The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, ed. W. E. K. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 420.

COOPER, James Fenimore. RED ROVER, THE (1827: 25)

Walter Scott, Journal entry. 14 Jan 1828: ‘I read Cooper’s new novel work, the Red Rover; the current of the [novel] rolls entirely upon the Ocean. Something there is too much of nautical language; in fact it overpowers every thing else. But so people once take an interest in a description they will swallow a great deal which they do not understand […] He has much genius, a powerful conception of character and force of execution.’
Source:
The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, ed. W. E. K. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 415.

Walter Scott, Journal entry. 28 Jan 1828: ‘I have read Cooper’s Prairie, better I think than his Red Rover in which you never get foot on shore and to understand entirely the incidents of the story it requires too much nautical language. It is very clever though.’
Source:
The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, ed. W. E. K. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 420.

GRIFFIN, Gerald Joseph. TALES OF THE MUNSTER FESTIVALS (1827: 35)

Walter Scott, Journal entry. 13 Mar 1828: ‘I had a diverting book, the Tales of the Munster Festivals, yet an evening without writing hung heavy on my hand. The tales are admirable. But they have one fault, that the crisis is in more cases than one protracted after a keen interest has been excited, to explain and to resume parts of the story that should have been told before. Scenes of mere amusement are often introduced betwixt the crisis of the plot and the final catastrophe. This is impolitic. But the scenes and characters are traced by a firm, bold and true pencil and my very criticism shows that [the] catastrophé is interesting, otherwise who would care for its being interrupted?’
Source:
The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, ed. W. E. K. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 444.

Letter from John Banim to Gerald Griffin. 7 Apr 1828: ‘Not till the other day, when I ran up to town, did I receive, at Mr Colburn’s, the “Tales of the Munster Festivals”, with the accompanying note. […] // My best thanks for the volumes. I have read them with the highest gratification, and warmly congratulate you on the talents they display, as well as the success they have met with.’
Source: Patrick Joseph Murray, The Life of John Banim (London: William Lay, 1857), p. 197.

JOHNSTONE, Christian Isobel. ELIZABETH DE BRUCE (1827: 44)

Walter Scott, Journal entry. 27 Jan 1827: ‘Read Elizth. de Bruce—it is very clever but does not show much originality: the characters though very entertaining are in the manner of other authors and the finishd and filldup [sic] portraits of which the sketches are to be found elsewhere. One is too apt to feel on such occasions the pettied resentment that you might entertain against one who had poached on your manor.’
Source:
The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, ed. W. E. K. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 270.

OWENSON, Sydney [afterwards MORGAN, Lady Sydney]. O’BRIENS AND THE O’FLAHERTYS, THE (1827: 54)

Lady Morgan, Diary entry. 19 Oct 1827: ‘I was telling Henry Grattan and Mrs Blanchford that I had introduced their father in my O’Briens and O’Flaherties at the head of the volunteer corps in the park. Mrs. Blanchford said that her father one day marched his company into the middle of the sea. On another occasion he was reviewing them with his glass to his eye, and Mrs. Blanchford was near him; he asked her, “Mary Ann, are their backs or their fronts towards me?” He is very blind and very absent, and his mind full of anything but military evolutions.’
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), II, 241.

Lady Morgan, Diary entry. Mar 1829: ‘The Scotch reviews accuse my [281] poor innocent O’Briens and O’Flaherties of being blasphemous and indecent—the old charge newly tagged up.’
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), II, 280–81.

SCARGILL, William Pitt. TRUCKLEBOROUGH HALL (1827: 62)

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to C. S. Edgeworth. 12 Apr 1827: ‘Mr Hope begs me to read Truckleborough Hall. Of late novels he says it is the one that has amused him the most. Both sides of the political question are reviewed most impartially; both quizzed a little, and the reader left in doubt to which the author leans.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), II, 151.

SCOTT, Sir Walter. CHRONICLES OF THE CANONGATE (1827: 63)

Walter Scott, Journal entry. 11 Dec 1827: ‘It seems Mr. Cadell is dissatisfied with the moderate success of the 1st series of Chronicles and disapproving of about half the volume already written of the second Series obviously ruing his engagement. I have replied that I was not fool enough to suppose that my favour with the public could last for ever and was neither shockd nor alarmd to find that it had ceased now as cease it must one day soon.’
Source:
The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, ed. W. E. K. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 393.

WARD, Robert Plumer. DE VERE (1827: 76)

Walter Scott, Journal entry. 22 Apr 1827: ‘Wrought in the afternoon and tried to read De Vere, a sensible but heavy book written by an able hand—but a great bore for all that—’.
Source:
The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, ed. W. E. K. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 298.

Walter Scott, Journal entry. 4 July 1827: ‘Slept part of the way. Read De Vere the rest. It is well written [324] in point of the language and sentiment but has too little action in it to be termd a pleasing Novel. Every thing is brought out by dialogue, or worse, through the medium of the author’s reflections, which is the clumsiest of all expedients.’
Source:
The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, ed. W. E. K. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), pp. 323–24.

BULWER LYTTON, Edward George. PELHAM (1828: 24)

Letter from J. G. Lockhart to Walter Scott. London, Saturday 28 Nov 1828:Pelham is writ by a Mr Bulwer, a Norfolk squire and horrid puppy. I have not read the book, from [158] disliking the author; but shall do so since you approve it. A Fashionable Novel is, in general, a sad dose.’ [Editor notes: Scott had written to Lockhart, ‘Pray who writes Pelham. I found it very interesting; the light is easy and gentleman-like, the dark very grand and sombrous. There are great improbabilities, but what can a poor devil do? There is, I am sorry to say, a slang tone of morality, which is immoral.’]
Source: The Private Letter Books of Sir Walter Scott, ed. Wilfred Partington (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1930), p. 157–58.

FRASER, James Baillie. KUZZILBASH, THE (1828: 43)

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Miss Ruxton. 22 Mar 1834:We have been much amused with the Kuzzilbash and by Bubbles from Brunnen by Captain Head.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), II, 246.

HOOK, Theodore Edward. SAYINGS AND DOINGS. THIRD SERIES (1828: 52)

Walter Scott, Journal entry. 21 Feb 1828: ‘Last night after dinner I rested from my work and read third part of Sayings and Doings, which shows great knowledge of life in a certain sphere and very considerable powers of wit which somewhat damages the effect of his tragic [scenes]. But he is an able writer and so much of his work is well said that it will carry through what is manqué.’
Source:
The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, ed. W. E. K. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 431.

MONKLAND, Anne Catherine. LIFE IN INDIA (1828: 59)

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Fanny Wilson. 25 Nov 1830: ‘ “Life in India” also amused me exceedingly and I have great anticipation of pleasure from the thoughts of seeing Pakenham read it before me. The dear little dog, the dear little Griffin I should say but why you will never know till you read “Life in India”. Thank you my dear for sending that book with meHalf an hour after I go up to my bedroom at night I sit delightfully reading it by a bright wood fire till the clock strikes eleven and hour and a half I read [436] it in the morning before breakfast viz. from 8 striking, till half after 9. I get up at 7-striking—out of bed Mem (and you will never know why I say “Mem” until you read “Life in India”).’
Source: Maria Edgeworth: Letters from England 1813–1844, ed. Christina Colvin (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), pp. 435–36.

SCOTT, Sir Walter. CHRONICLES OF THE CANONGATE. SECOND SERIES (1828: 72)

Walter Scott, Journal entry. 11 Dec 1827: ‘It seems Mr. Cadell is dissatisfied with the moderate success of the 1st series of Chronicles and disapproving of about half the volume already written of the second Series obviously ruing his engagement. I have replied that I was not fool enough to suppose that my favour with the public could last for ever and was neither shockd nor alarmd to find that it had ceased now as cease it must one day soon.’
Source:
The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, ed. W. E. K. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 393.

SMITH, Horatio. ZILLAH (1828: 75)

Letter from Horatio Smith to Cyrus Redding: ‘P.S. Will you tell Colburn, when you see him, that “Zillah” is the most appropriate name he could choose for my novel. I find that lady was the mother of Tubal Cain, the first of the Smiths, and of course the founder of my family; perhaps the circumstance was in Mr ——’s eye when he pitched upon Zillah!’
Source: Cyrus Redding, Fifty Years’ Recollections, 3 vols. (London: Charles J. Skeet, 1858), II, 206.

CRUMPE, Miss M G T. GERALDINE OF DESMOND (1829: 31)

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Edgeworth. 30 Apr 1831: ‘And here are three authoress’s books lying [529] unread on the table before me and letters of thanks that must be penned—Mrs S. C. Hall’s superb silk and morocco copy of Old and new Irish Sketches the 2d volume dedicated to Miss E with warmest sentiments […] then there is Geraldine Desmond—time of Elizabeth—3 volumes and long preface and Miss E in it—and very learned notes tho uncut I can see are long and learned—and it is a book of great pretension by Miss Crumpe who sent it to me with a note and a card and it was impossible not to return her visit.’
Source: Maria Edgeworth: Letters from England 1813–1844, ed. Christina Colvin (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), pp. 528–29.

GRIFFIN, Gerald Joseph. COLLEGIANS, THE (1829: 41)

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Miss Ruxton. 29 May 1829:While confined to my sofa and forbidden my pen, I have been reading a good deal: 1st Cinq Mars, a French novel, with which I think you would be charmed, because I am; 2nd, The Collegians, in which there is much genius and strong drawing of human nature, but not elegant: terrible pictures of the passions and horrible breathless interest, especially in the third volume, which never flags, till the last huddled twenty pages.’
Source: The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. Augustus J. C. Hare, 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1894), II, 169.

Lady Morgan, Diary entry. 1830: ‘We talked of the good, but coarse, Irish novel, The Collegians. The story is a fact, and not only a fact, but the trial of the hero, and the whole melancholy event, was given by Curran in The New Monthly Magazine, just after it happenedin much finer style than in the Collegians.’
Source: Lady Morgan’s Memoirs, ed. W. H. Dixon and G. Jewsbury, 2 vols. (London: W. H. Allen, 1862), II, 288.

HALL, Anna Maria. SKETCHES OF IRISH CHARACTER (1829: 43)

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Mrs Edgeworth. 30 Apr 1831:lying unread on the table before me and letters of thanks that must be penned—Mrs S. C. Hall’s superb silk and morocco copy of Old and new Irish sketches the 2d volume dedicated to Miss E with warmest sentiments’.
Source: Maria Edgeworth: Letters from England 1813–1844, ed. Christina Colvin (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), p. 529.

Samuel Carter Hall: ‘I am sure that no one can read her [Mrs Hall] stories without feeling sympathy—I will add, affection—for the Irish people; their faults are recorded, or exhibited, with so much considerate and generous allowance; their virtues are detailed with such evident delight! Her books were never popular in Ireland, though popular in every other country. She tried—as she did by her bonnet-ribbons—to blend the orange and the green. She saw in each party much to praise and much to blame; but what one party approved the other condemned, and “between two stools”—the adage is trite’.
Source: S. C. Hall, Retrospect of a Long Life: from 1815–1883, 2 vols. (London: Richard Bentley and Son, 1883), II, 426–28.

SMITH, Horatio. NEW FOREST, THE (1829: 78)

Walter Scott, Journal entry. 26 Oct 1831: ‘I engaged in a new novel by Mr. Smith calld New Forest. It is written in an old stile calculated to meet the popular ideas, somewhat like Man as He is Not and that class. The author’s opinions seem rather sit loose upon [him] and to be adopted for the nonce and not very well brought out.’
Source: The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, ed. W. E. K. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 672.


Last modified 1 July, 2001 .