ANON. Short Story, A (1800)
2nd ser. 31 (Jan 1801): 116.
The youthful writer of this ‘Short Story’
informs us, that her motive for publishing it was ‘to enforce
the duty of resignation under affliction.’—Of every species
of distress to which the lot of man is subject, perhaps there is no
one so difficult to be borne as that of ill treatment from those we
love. The author enters upon the latter part of her story with an
enthusiasm which shows the warmth of her heart. Nor have we any reason
to complain that it exhibits a warmth unfriendly to the cause of virtue.
If we were to exercise the severity of criticism, which she seems
to dread, we might without difficulty point out many faults; but we
shall content ourselves with one remark, which will apply not only
to herself, but to almost all the novel writers into whose hands this
critique may fall, namely, that although in periodical publications
and compilements of essays a motto may serve as a convenient sign
or text at the top of each separate paper, yet, in a connected story,
whether gay or serious, a quotation from authors, either English or
foreign, placed at the beginning of every chapter, can only tend to
break the thread of the narrative, and is rarely of any use but to
assist in filling up the page. And further, although the introduction
of a sonnet may fairly be allowed in due time and place, yet the interspersing
a work with verses, without regard to either, we must condemn as a
defect of no small magnitude.
Notes: Listed under ‘Monthly Catalogue: Novels’.
Format: 2 vols 12mo; price 7s. Sewed. Publisher: Cawthorne.
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Research Associates: Dr Jacqueline
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