LIBRARY AND EARLY WOMEN'S WRITING

NOVELS-ON-LINE

Author:

Rachel Hunter

Title:

The Unexpected Legacy

Place of publication:

London

Publisher:

Printed for T. N. Longman and O. Rees, and W. T. Robberds, by R. Taylor

Date of publication:

1804

Edition:

1st ed.

Number of volumes:

2

Jane Austen knew the work of this Minerva Press novelist, and reportedly laughed at it. After reading 'a most tiresome novel in eight volumes by a Mrs. Hunter, containing a story within a story, and in which the heroine was always in floods of tears', Austen wrote a mock thank you letter to her niece, Anna, in the style of Mrs Hunter. But Hunter has since found more appreciative critics, and she is now considered noteworthy for her 'ingenious role-playing, critical prefaces and for entering as author among her characters' (The Feminist Companion to Literature in English, Virginia Blain, Patricia Clements & Isobel Grundy eds. (New Haven: Yale Unviersity Press, 1990), p. 553). In the splendid facetious preface to The Unexpected Legacy, the fictitious author, Mrs Sedley, who also plays a leading role in the plot, has to defend novels from an eloquent attack by her male friend.

Preface

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Volume 1

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Volume 2

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