TitleRomance Readers and Romance Writers: A Satirical Novel
Description12mo. Contemporary red half morocco, marbled boards, spines gilt-ruled and lettered, gilt crests in upper panels.
A brilliantly amusing burlesque noir, lampooning the absurdities and affectations of the contemporary novel. Having read too many romances, the heroine, Margaret, who prefers to be known as 'Magritta', is like Don Quixote in seeing romance and sensation in the most everyday situations: 'Margaret was sure her uncle's dwelling house had been a formidable castle, and that it was also haunted.' Of greatest interest, perhaps, is the thirty-two page prefatory 'Literary retrospection', which compares the 'good old romances of our ancestors, and those of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries', including discussion of such writers as T.J. Horsley Curteis ('intolerably dull and tiresome'); the 'horrid' novelist, Francis Lathom, whose productions 'tell sad tales of this gentleman's abilities'; Gregory Lewis; Charlotte Dacre ('absurb trash'); and Walter Scott, before he published novels. But the greatest ridicule is reserved for Joshua Pickersgill, who, mercifully, wrote only one novel, The Three Brothers, 1803.
(With acknowledgements to Brick Row Bookshop catalogue.)
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