British Fiction, 18001829

PINCHARD, Elizabeth. Mystery and Confidence (1814)

Contemporary Reviews

Critical Review, 4th ser. 6 (Dec 1814): 556–57.

Though these volumes come before us in an anonymous guise, yet we have found in them something superior to [556/557] the productions of many fair attendants in the literary vineyard; who bring forth their fruits under sweet-sounding names, followed up with a list of former labours. This tale is naturally told, and it also possesses the advantage of being disencumbered from episodes, under plots, and counterplots, which, of late years, chilling thought! seems to have become necessary to eke out five or six volumes of novel or romance. It contains one clear unbroken chain of events, connected by a moral, interesting and unaffected narrative.

The honest and hospitable inhabitants of the interior of Wales, are a happy relief to the scenes of the fashionable follies in the western part of the metropolis; hence we find Ellen, the blooming and unsophisticated heroine of the tale, little at ease among the studied beauties of a London route. The mystery here is well managed, the unfolding from time to time prolonged by the interposition of events divested of inconsistence, and without the narrator having recourse to the marvellous. Confidence too, here arises from an amiable motive; for, what virtuous wife would not place implicit confidence in a tender husband? in him the unequal workings of a mind loaded with suspicion of the commission of a dreadful crime, of which, however, in the sequel it appears he is innocent; and the soothings of the affectionate partaker of his woes, are given with the ability of a successful sentimental dramatist.

Notes: Format: 3 vols; no price. Publisher: Colburn.

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