British Fiction, 18001829

MARTIN, H. Helen of Glenross (1802)

Contemporary Reviews

Critical Review, 2nd ser. 34 (Mar 1802): 356.

The author of the volumes before us is of the penseroso school. The tale does not end, like the generality of novels, in a happy wedding, but in the death of those who had married unhappily.

‘In the common tales of devoted beauty, a delicate mind finds so little sympathy, that it hardly serves for warning against errors too broad to require much caution to avoid. But the purest may sympathise in Helen’s fate—may learn diffidence from her story, and be convinced it is easier to avoid imprudence, than to prevent or remedy the evils that follow it.’ Vol. iv. P. 264.

The story is an interesting one, and the incidents are pathetic. The writer also evinces some poetical merit in the ballad style, by a reverie on the daisy, in the second volume.

Notes: Listed under ‘Monthly Catalogue: Novels’. Format: 4 vols 12mo; price 16s. Boards. Publisher: Robinsons.

Monthly Review, 2nd ser. 41 (May 1803): 103.

If we cannot allot any great degree of commendation to these volumes, we by no means condemn them in toto. They occasionally display a portion of humour, and exhibit with some force the various absurd or excentric [sic] traits of character: but they possess not sufficient animation and interest to work on the reader’s affections, and he becomes tired of the theme of love and marriage, offers, and rejections. A lady of fashion here talks of ‘hashing the business’ of a husband keeping a mistress, (vol. iv. p. 172.):—an application of the art of cookery with which we are not acquainted.

Notes: Listed under ‘Monthly Catalogue: Novels’. Format: 4 vols 12mo; price 16s. Boards. Publisher: Robinsons.

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