Kathryn Dawes »

Kathryn Dawes recently completed a BA and an MA in English Literature at Cardiff University. Her work for the MA focused on bibliographical and textual studies and also cyberpunk, a sub-genre of science fiction. She now works as a freelance proof-reader and copy-editor, and lives in Ceredigion.

Thanks are due to Professor Peter Garside for help and much pointing-in-the-right-direction on this essay.

Copyright Information

This article is copyright © 2000 Centre for Editorial and Intertextual Research, and is the result of the independent labour of the scholar or scholars credited with authorship.  The material contained in this document may be freely distributed, as long as the origin of information used has been properly credited in the appropriate manner (e.g. through bibliographic citation, etc.).

Referring to this Article

K. L. DAWES. 'Anonymity and the Pressures of Publication in the Early Nineteenth Century', Cardiff Corvey: Reading the Romantic Text 4 (May 2000).

Online: Internet (date accessed): https://www.romtext.org.uk/articles/cc04_n03/

Anonymity and the Pressures of Publication in the Early Ninteenth Century

Abstract Tags


‘An acknowledged novel-writer is, perhaps, one of the most difficult names to support with credit and reputation’.
-ELIZABETH SARAH VILLA-REAL GOOCH, Preface to Sherwood Forest (1804).

The early nineteenth century saw a ‘sharply rising demand for cheap print, associated with increases in population and literacy which occurred all over Europe.’ [1] Changing attitudes in all areas of life after the French Revolution created a new climate in which fiction could flourish. The reasons for this influx of literature and subsequent growth of the industry as a whole are complex and have been carefully studied by scholars such as Richard D. Altick, Maurice Couturier and Philip Gaskell. The study of bibliography necessarily focuses on these times of great change.

There is one area, however, which only ever merits a couple of paragraphs in any study of the publishing industry and its authors. Many authors have felt the need to publish their works anonymously and pseudonymously, but there is little or no primary evidence or documentation as to their reasons. This is particularly true of the beginning of the nineteenth century, which was a time when the novel was still seen as a lower art, if indeed it merited the title of art form at all. Mary Ann Hanway refers to ‘all the crude indigestible trash, that load the shelves of the circulating libraries’ in her preface to Falconbridge Abbey (1809). [2] The ‘Advertisement’ in Maria Edgeworth’s Belinda further shows the reticence of society to accept the fictional literature being produced at the time:

The following work is offered to the public as a Moral Tale—the author not wishing to acknowledge a Novel. Were all novels like those of Madame de Crousax, Mrs. Inchbald, Miss Burney, or Dr. Moore, she would adopt the name of novel with delight: But so much folly, errour, and vice are disseminated in books classed under this denomination, that it is hoped the wish to assume another title will be attributed to feelings that are laudable […] [3]

Many authors avoided stating their ownership of a work because they were not as celebrated or respected as Edgeworth and thus were unable to defend their works. Couturier cites Adrien Baillet, and Halkett and Laing who compiled dictionaries of anonymous and pseudonymous titles. [4] Although their texts were published in 1690 and 1882-84 respectively, they do put forward some interesting reasons for anonymous and pseudonymous publication which back up some of the ideas that will be discussed here. Baillet’s foremost reasons are:

‘the love of Antiquity’, ‘prudence’, ‘the fear of disgrace and penalties’, ‘the shame at producing or publishing something which would be unworthy of one’s rank or profession’, ‘the intention to sound the minds on a subject which might seem new’, ‘the fantasy of hiding one’s low birth or rank’, and ‘the desire‘ to hide a name which might not ring well. [5]

For Halkett and Laing the main reasons are ‘diffidence’, ‘fear of consequences’, and ‘shame’. [6] These reasons all assume that the author had full control over whether or not their names were inserted onto a title page. But it would seem that publishers had their own ideas. It was the case that authors often had the choice taken out of their hands by publishers. In studying the Corvey collection of novels it becomes clear that there were more reasons for authors remaining anonymous than a simple reluctance to put a name to a form that was ‘supposed to be intellectually undemanding […] actually distracting from more “solid” and “improving reading matter” ’. [7] A whole range of personal and professional reasons come into play which show an addition to the problems already faced by a nineteenth century writer.

The Title Page: A Publisher’s Realm
Why should an author’s name not appear on the title page in any form, but appear in a preface, dedication or advertisement? Why should authors wish to conceal their identity from their readers? Was it the publishing industry who prevented them? The small amount of direct evidence available itself creates more questions and shows the complexity of this burgeoning nineteenth-century industry. I wish to look at the patterns of anonymous ascription of novels in the period 1800 to 1809 inclusive, focusing on the novels contained within the Corvey collection. I am particularly interested in those texts with prefaces, dedications, subscription lists and advertisements which add to the information about the author found on the title page.

The Corvey collection provides some good examples from which reasons for anonymous publication can be speculated upon. From 1800 to 1809 inclusive there are five hundred and twelve novels contained in the Corvey collection. In this essay I also refer to texts included in the forthcoming The English Novel, 1770-1829: A Bibliographical Survey of Fiction Published in the British Isles; which gives a total of 770 novels for this decade, including those in Corvey. [8] The total novels from which the sample is taken is thus 770. Brief attention to title pages quickly attests to the fact that many of the authors in this period wrote totally anonymously and many more chose to write under pseudonyms. Of these 770 novels, some forty-three have details of the author’s identity additional to that found on the title page. These particular examples have been chosen because the title page admits no or only limited detail on the author, but either a fuller version of the author’s name (nineteen instances), initials (eleven instances), or an indication of gender (thirteen instances) appear in another location in the text. These are three of the four main patterns which can be found in this sample—the fourth will be discussed later. Other interesting and significant tendencies are those of pseudonymously published titles, about which there is no room to discuss here; and the tendency to exclude a name but have ‘by the author of …’ or variants thereof on the title page (of which, within the limited sample of forty-three alone there are fifteen instances).

In the example of The Castles of Marsange & Nuger; or, the Novitiate de Rousillon, the only clue on the title page is that the novel is ‘By a Lady’. [9] Yet at the end of the dedication the author or translator signs her full name: ‘I am, madam, / With all dutiful respect, / Your Ladyship’s / Most devoted and obedient servant, / HENRIETTA MARIA YOUNG. / FAVERSHAM, Sept. 1809.’ This is an example of the first pattern: little or no information on the title page, but the full name of the author placed in a dedication. In 1800 E. M. Foster’s novel Emily of Lucerne was published. [10] The title page reads as follows: A Novel. In Two Volumes. By the Author of The Duke of Clarence. The only indication of the identity of the author is in the previously published title, but in the dedication in the second volume, Mrs Foster signs herself ‘E.M.F’:

To her Royal Highness The Princess Of Wales.
Madam, As the Desire I feel of publicly avowing the Respect and Esteem I entertain for your Character is the only Motive which actuates me in dedicating this little work to your Highness, permit me to indulge the pleasing Hope that you will not disdain the Liberty I have taken.
I am
With unfeigned Respect,
Your Royal Highness’s
Most obedient humble servant,
E. M. F.

This is an example of the second pattern. Here there is no detail on the title page as to the author, but the dedication is signed with initials. There are eleven instances of this in the sample.

These authors did not wish to be totally anonymous, yet for various reasons their names did not appear fully on the title page. The third pattern is a variation on the other two, where the author is not named on the title page but a preface or dedication indicates the author’s gender. For example, Adonia, A Desultory Story indicates no author on the title page, but the dedication is signed by ‘The Authoress’. [11] These three patterns produce many questions about the conventions of the publishing industry and the status of the author in the nineteenth century.

Foster’s dedication in Emily of Lucerne is a typical example, offering humble wishes for a ‘little work’. Here the author has no problems with putting her initials at the end of the dedication. From the dedication it would appear that she is seeking the support of a respected member of the royal class to protect her work. It was the custom of the time to seek such support, since this lent authority to the work and provided some refuge from censorship. [12] Elizabeth Villa-Real Gooch appears on the title page of Sherwood Forest as Mrs. Villa-Real Gooch. [13] She signed her full name to the dedication, addressed to ‘James Wardell, Esq. Wine merchant, Pall Mall’, again obviously feeling that it was safe and respectable to do so: ‘With every sentiment of gratitude of which the feeling mind is susceptible, I subscribe myself, / Dear Sir, / Your truly devoted humble Servant, / Elizabeth Sarah Villa-Real Gooch. / King Street, Hammersmith, April 12th. 1804.’ Gooch wrote, ‘I have never yet ventured upon the fashionable mode of dedication’—hence, at this time dedications were the custom, and patronage was eagerly sought after. Gooch obviously felt there was something extra to be gained by dedicating her novel to this successful wine merchant, even though her work had previously been well received without the need for such support. It was a particularly winning formula to enlist a patron if one was a female writer. Education and literacy was still seen as a male privilege, and novel-writing generally disdained. Feminine modesty, delicacy and respectability was very important at the time. Mary Tuck’s name only appears in small type in the imprint on the title page of her 1804 gothic novel Durston Castle; and it is not declared that she is the author, merely that it was printed for ‘M. Tuck’, the proprietor of the ‘Circulating-Library near the Adam and Eve, Peckham’. [14] Despite this she signs her full name to the ‘Address’ to Lady Crespigny, a respected patron of the time. Under this guise she can reveal herself: ‘I have the honour to be, / GENTLEMEN and LADIES, / Your much obliged and / grateful servant, / MARY TUCK. / Circulating-Library, near the / Adam and Eve, Peckham.’

All these authors found patronage vital due to the fact that it gave a measure of protection to their work. A person respected enough in society to be approached as a patron would not, it was assumed, put their name to an unworthy piece of work; hence, these novels would have something in their favour before the reviewers had even looked at them. If for any reason, the author’s name did not to appear on the title page, the dedications, addresses, and so forth gave them an opportunity to ensure that their name could appear somewhere within the text itself.

The Industry

Authors were influenced by all the people around them, from family and friends to the publishers and booksellers with whom they dealt. In the first place it is important to understand some of the conventions of the industry at the time, which acts as a background to the publishing history of all these texts. Publishers wielded a great deal of power at the time, and our contemporary cult of the author was not established. Laws were only just granting basic authorial rights. In 1774 the House of Lords decided that after twenty-eight years copyright fell into the public domain. It was not until 1814 that this was modified to twenty-eight years or the life of the author. From 1800 to the middle of the century, outright sale of copyright was the most popular method for authors, who were often poor. ‘When an author sold his copyright to a publisher he had no further rights in or control over his work, although publishers sometimes paid a bonus if a book proved unexpectedly successful.’ [15] Therefore publishers saw the work as their own and as such felt no obligation to place the author’s name on the title page. It was not traditional practice to do so, and the title page belonged to the publisher whether or not they owned the rights. In addition, if a book had not been sold outright, ‘booksellers were often all too pleased to publish books anonymously; while seemingly protecting the authors against censorship and the snooping public, they could claim the books as their property.’ [16] Diderot’s Encyclopédie of 1778 explores anonymity, saying, ‘any writer who, out of shyness, modesty or scorn for glory, refuses to attract notice at the beginning of his work deserves to be commended’ but also points out that ‘readers are often too favourably biased towards anonymous works, and that some writers have artificially tried to promote the sale of their books by publishing anonymously.’ [17] Publishers as well as writers used this trick. It was not always modesty or fear of censorship which inclined an author towards anonymity.

Publishers often placed a lot of information relating to themselves and the book on the title page in the form of an imprint. The following imprint is from the anonymous The Mysterious Protector, and is an example of the second pattern: ‘LONDON: / PRINTED FOR GEORGE ROBINSON, / 25, PATERNOSTER-ROW. / 1805.’ [18] There is no name on the title page at all, but there is a dedication signed ‘M. C.’. Despite all the information contained in the title page regarding the publisher, there is neither an author’s name nor a list of previous titles. The names on the title page belong to the publisher and Lady Crespigny, to whom the dedication is addressed, the latter especially implying that such details were clearly felt to be more important in creating status for the text.

The imprint gave the name of the publisher/printer, and usually the date and/or place of publication. As yet the authors name was not an essential feature. Authors could include their names by putting them at the end of dedications, introductions, messages ‘To the Public’ and suchlike. If the publishers would not place their names on the title pages, authors still had the power to get them put in under these guises. This was especially true if a book contained a dedication to a famous and respectable person, as it would increase the likelihood of the book’s being well received, and would as such be happily included by a publisher. Quite often, however, there is no explanation of why a name is left out totally or only appears as initials in a preface. These constrictions placed on an author are therefore difficult to prove from the primary evidence available. Generally we cannot tell if there was just simple publisher error or the publishing house’s convention was at work in suppressing the name from the title page. The Corvey collection of texts here falls silent—none of the prefaces contain explanations of problems encountered with publishers, presumably because this would not help them in trying to get a book in print! In the dedication to Falconbridge Abbey, Mary Ann Hanway states: ‘I now offer to the Public, with all an author’s hopes, an author’s fears. I am therefore most anxious to procure for it the support and patronage of a Gentleman.’ Hanway is another example of the fourth major pattern to be discussed later, her name appearing as ‘Mrs. Hanway’ on the title page and her full name in the dedication. It is the fact that patrons were so sought after that is one of the sole indications that authors did not or could not turn to publishing houses in support of their names. Most dedications and prefaces show something of this anxiety in an industry still dominated by the rule of the publishing trade. Although patrons would often give some financiad al support as well as lending their good name to the book, it was the aspect of protection that made the system of patronage so essential to the industry and the author. The anonymous Farther Excursions of the Observant Pedestrian, published in 1801, has an ‘Introductory’ which states ‘without the incitement of a name, or patron to establish his celebrity’, the earlier Observant Pedestrian (1795) enjoyed unexpected success. [19] While a patron was not essential, it was clearly a well established feature of successful publication, and a guarantee that the author’s name would appear, if so desired.

In the preface to Falconbridge Abbey, Hanway remarks ‘[she] boldly ventured to launch my little skiff on the tremendous ocean of criticism […] those sunken rocks, denominated the Reviewers!’ Reviewers in journals such as the Critical Review were greatly feared, their word being relied on as a guide to suitable reading matter. Not putting a name to the work meant that one could hide gender, class and family associations which might colour a reviewer’s judgement. Most reviewers were male, and there was a ‘notorious critical double standard’ with regard to female women novelists. [20] The aforementioned anonymous author of the Pedestrian was taken for a man’s work and praised it as such: ‘but how will they be surprised to learn, that the subject is the sole effusions of a female pen’. This carefully emphasised ‘female’ and the general tone shows an author amused at the tyranny of men (and especially that of the reviewers) being somehow violated, but also indicates that she would have not expected such a favourable reception were she to declare herself fully. Authors used every trick in their power to protect and promote their books, and if the easiest way was to remain anonymous, it could prove well worth it.

Anonymity as a deliberate ploy could be perpetrated and used by publishers as well as authors. The use of a name or title similar to an already successful one could confuse the trade and the public into buying a work. For example, the Corvey collection contains A Winter In Bath and A Winter At Bath, both published in 1807. [21] Both have been attributed to Mrs E. G. Bayfield, actually the author of A Winter At Bath only. The first title was published anonymously, and the second edition contains a statement complaining that the title of A Winter At Bath was changed ‘with a view to profit by the popularity of their Novel’. This was done ‘without her [Mrs. Bayfield’s] knowledge and consent’ by J. F. Hughes, the publisher. Clearly publishers were not averse to playing games to sell books, as is still done today with pseudonyms that fit next to famous authors on bookshop shelves, and other ploys. This is an example of publisher’s intervention rather than authorial choice in the use of anonymity. It is also possible that different types of books were sold anonymously or pseudonymously to try out a new type of plot or genre without the risk of destroying an established author’s name. For example, Mrs Meeke published eight novels as ‘Gabrielli’, and ‘On the whole […] the novels written under the name of Gabrielli tend to be more daring and lavish in their settings than those published under Mary Meeke’s own name’. [22] Anonymity could allow an already established writer a new freedom to try ‘daring’ plots and experiment with other features.

A Society of Rules
There were also personal and family reasons why an author may want to remain anonymous. As well as the opinions of reviewers, authors had to face the reactions of their own families to their work. If there was anything trashy or radical about their work they would be happy to hide their authorship. Male relatives especially would still look down on the genre, more so if the author was a woman. The profession was not very respectable one yet, and even if publishers were often gentlemen, authors still had a more precarious existence. It may be that writing novels was below their class, or prevented by modesty. Titled persons could be published under shortened names, such as the Comtesse Stéphanie-Félicité de Genlis, whose works were published in English translations under ‘Madame de Genlis’. The genre was not respectable enough to be written by a titled lady. Dedications sometimes name no author, but do name a family member as a sort of guarantee of good reception, like using a patron. Authors often simply didn’t look for fame. For many it would not have been of the right sort at all, the status of the novel still being what it was. It was still considered indelicate to write ‘mere’ fiction. Fanny Burney’s diaries record her thoughts on her success, and any ‘congratulations on her achievement she regarded as a most shocking display of coarseness’. [23] It was still the case that ‘very often authorship was an open secret, but it was supposed to remain unacknowledged nevertheless’. [24] In general, authors seemed to feel that it was best to be cautious and not declare authorship if there was any reason for doubt.

The enigma of anonymity may also have been a factor in anonymous publication. Richardson enjoyed the privilege of mystery and romance surrounding his epistolary novels, until forced by pirates to declare his ownership. ‘Not only did anonymity boost the authenticity of the manuscripts found and their realistic effect, but it guaranteed the inaccessibility and semi-godlike status of the author.’ [25] Richardson also wrote anonymously because at this time narrative devices were still in their infancy: as Couturier notes, ‘[i]n the eighteenth century, one was evidently too close to the oral era when the storyteller was often both the author and the narrator of the story. It would have been self-defeating, it seems, for a novelist to sign his work when that work was supposed to be written by a narrator or a set of characters.’ [26] It was also the case that first-person narratives were still understood to narrate actual events pertaining to the author. None of the title pages of Tristram Shandy include the name of the author. This was partly because Sterne was a minister and as such ‘might have hesitated to sign such a risky novel […] but above all because Tristram Shandy, like Moll Flanders, was written in the first person by the eponymous character.’ [27] Authors may have enjoyed the benefits of anonymity and also understood to a certain extent the constraints posed by these narratorial problems.

With the novel gaining in popularity it was becoming more acceptable to be an author, and thus more names appeared on title pages. Publishers had great power in this area and there were many reasons why they would not print the author’s name on the title page. But authors themselves were still often reluctant to declare themselves, and placed their names in initial form in a preface or dedication. The examples from Corvey show that there was still no consensus within the industry and no standard. Authors and publishers followed the rules of society rather than bibliographical convention in this area, and left little or no explanation for decisions regarding these patterns. In the main part, a lack of authorial power hindered the development of the title page as we know it, which will always contain a name.

The ‘Mrs’ Pattern

The fourth major pattern related to anonymous publication discovered within the Corvey collection foregrounds the role of gender. Out of the forty-three texts fitting into the categories already explained, sixteen title pages form a subset, each text containing exactly the same form of authorial inscription. The author’s name appears on the title page as ‘Mrs. .’, ‘Miss .’, and once only ‘Madame .’: for example, in Falconbridge Abbey; there is, however, more information (either initials, full name or indication of gender) in prefaces, dedications, and the like. Hanway is a perfect example of this last category; appearing as ‘Mrs. Hanway’ on the title page of Falconbridge Abbey, she subscribes her full name to the novel’s dedication: ‘SIR, / Your obliged Friend, / And obedient Servant, / MARY ANN HANWAY. / Blackheath, / December 15, 1808.’ The reasons for the large proportion of these forms of title page are specifically linked to the female gender of the author, and thus refer to the role of women in nineteenth-century society.

The use of the married name on the title page in itself is fairly unremarkable. Authors were gaining more rights and as such there were steadily more names appearing on the title pages. This form could have been purely the correct mode of address tacitly agreed on in the industry. Women were becoming more educated and the newly leisured middle class woman had time to spare for this activity of reading novels. Novels were seen as a suitable diversion for a woman, but they were not taken seriously. Gary Kelly tells us, ‘Women were supposed to be the main producers and consumers of fiction, and fiction was supposed to be intellectually undemanding (therefore, it was supposed, fit for women’s lesser intellectual capacities)’. [28] In her preface to The Irish Guardian, Anna Maria Mackenzie notes that ‘[t]he Author perceives she cannot conclude without paying a feeble tribute of praise to those male writers, who have thought it no degradation of their dignity […] to […] improve and amuse in the form of a novel.’ [29] The novel was still thought of as a trivial amusement for ladies, and an improper profession: Mackenzie further states that literature ‘cannot be the business of a woman’s life, and it ought not to be’. Writers such as Elizabeth Gaskell ‘supported the view that writing must take place only after familial responsibilities had been fulfilled.’ [30] It was often the case that the occupations of governess and schoolteacher were the only ones available to women, so some turned to writing to support themselves. For example, Mary Tuck in the ‘Address’ to Durston Castle asks her reader to ‘view me struggling with a variety of disappointments, employing my pen to preserve a young family from immediate distress’. The fact that Tuck has almost to apologise for her circumstances and occupation as proprietor of a ciculating library and a writer, shows that this profession was still not considered socially acceptable, hence the use of a respectable married name or total anonymity on the title page.

It seems that the women writers of the period were indeed looking for some recognition of their achievements, for in all of the sixteen instances of the name appearing as ‘Mrs’, ‘Miss’, or ‘Madame’ on the title page, the full name or initials appears elsewhere. These women quite clearly wanted to be recognised and heard, and they used all the methods outlined above to be fully identified. In prefaces and dedications they allied themselves with powerful, often female patrons and signed their names with pride. As Mary Tuck says in her previously quoted dedication to Durston Castle, it is an honour to be a writer patronised and respected: ‘I have the honour to be, / GENTLEMEN and LADIES, / Your much obliged and / grateful servant, / MARY TUCK. / Circulating-Library, near the / Adam and Eve, Peckham.‘ Women continued to display their married names on title pages, however, as an extra measure of protection: ‘You know how women writers are looked down upon. The women fear and hate, the men ridicule and dislike them’. [31] Female writers had to be careful not to step outside the strict bounds of propriety, and as quoted before, ‘very often authorship was an open secret, but it was supposed to remain unacknowledged nevertheless’. [32] Women lived by an intricate set of rules, and were absolved of the necessity to think and decide for themselves. Literary ambition was considered indelicate, as described earlier in the case of Fanny Burney whose diary detailed her shock at mention in public of her achievements. Literary ambition in a woman was regarded as an impertinence and led to terrible scourgings. It was considered indelicate for a woman to write her name on the title page—a taboo which was carefully observed, although sometimes we find that a signed preface is not considered inconsistent with a title page that admits nothing. Such a fact has some significance in light of the Corvey collection, but it seems in truth that a married name was acceptable in this decade, while a full name still considered too forward a declaration of authorship for a woman.

Many title pages in fact admitted no name, but gave a clear indication as to the origins of the text. The sample of only forty-three novels studied here includes fifteen instances from 1800-09 where the novel has ‘by the author of .’ on the title page. This convention seemingly suited the publishers’ aims as well as the authors, and of these fifteen, ten texts have other information regarding the author’s identity elsewhere in the book, in the form of prefaces, dedications, etc: see, for instance, the title page of Woman: Or, Ida of Athens (illustrated). While in this example the name ‘Miss Owenson’ appears, it was often the case that there would be no name on the page. [33] Owenson signs her dedication to this novel with her full name, Sydney Owenson, and is a variant of the ‘Mrs’ pattern. It seems that a list of her previous acheivements on the title page was more important than her full name as the author.

The use of the marital name reinforces the patriarchal line of descent—the woman is defined in relation to her husband: ‘women were constructed not as independent but as relational beings, therefore the individual ethos was problematic’. [34] Marriage at the time was still very much a set of rigid constrictions placed on a woman: ‘the very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during marriage, or at least is incorporated and consolidated into that of the husband’. [35] Did these women want to break away from this to a certain extent, to find their own identity and their own sphere of discourse? They seemed to find a channel in the ‘novels of manners, sentiment and social emulation’ while men wrote ‘novels of ideas’ or philosophical novels. [36] Novel writing gave women a certain amount of power, ‘women could participate in public life and national issues under the guise of writing “mere” fiction’, and there was an overlap in the issues covered in books by female authors. [37] To provide a sense of their own identity they used their full names or initials, pointing to the woman behind the marital name, the ‘Mrs’ on the title page. Women were beginning to be ‘agents of change’, functioning on their own terms in a male world. [38] At the time there was much debate over ‘the woman question’—exactly how much education and influence it was proper to allow women. Women argued that as mothers of the next generation they were the first line of education, and should thus be able to read and reason for themselves. Some of the texts published ‘subvert masculine control […] quietly giving emphasis to female capability’. [39]

Sensibility and passivity were still very much moral markers for women, but women writers were creating their own space for self expression. These women of the 1800s conformed to the expression of their identities as a reference to their husbands, but beyond the title page they used their own words and signed their names with increasing autonomy. There was still a great deal of concern to present an acceptable face to the reviewers. Critics were ‘not kind to women novelists because they were women—only because they were humble’. [40] Mary Tuck, in her ‘Address’ to Durston Castle, humbly asks for leniency, ‘I hope, also, the critic will spare this first attempt, in commiseration of the misfortunes we have encountered.’ Reviewers tended to be male and often trivialised the novel form, calling it out of control. They did not take the genre very seriously, and ‘the standard of criticism applied to the novel in the eighteenth century was a further encouragement to the female pen’. [41] Although this refers to the eighteenth century, these values were still clearly at work in the early nineteenth, and ‘contemporary reviewers read fiction and poetry according to their own gender stereotypes […] praised when it conformed to feminine ideals’. [42] This is shown by the rise in numbers of the female novelist, and the increasing use of some form of name placed on the title page or elsewhere. But women were still nervous of facing their reviewers, and prefaces often defended the text and asked for approval. It was still the case that fiction was ‘a reflection of the conventions which a certain level of society chose’. [43] Thus, women still had to align their pride in their achievements with their duty as women and the ideas of propriety. This might mean they would use initials only and not risk a full declaration. However radical some of these women may have been, they still operated in a patriarchal society where the opinions of related and respected males were paramount to success and reputation.

All four of the patterns discussed in this study bring to light some fascinating reasons why novels were published as they were. The influence of the publishing industry and of the strict society of the time were a minefield to be negotiated by any author. However, it seems that on top of all these concerns, it was the female author who also had to battle with the prejudices that threw up so many barriers to the conduct of women. That these women succeeded in publishing so many novels, thus gradually widening their own sphere of education and that of their readers, is an important development for the gender as a whole. Just as importantly, their diligence helped to ensure the continuation and growth of the novel form as a work of art, worthy of the title of literature.


Trends in Authorship, 1800–1829

Fig. 1, below, displays the trends of authorial ascription throughout the first three decades of the nineteenth century, and is based on figures from ‘British Fiction, 1800-1829: A Database of Production and Reception’, currently being developed at the Centre for Editorial and Intertextual Research, Cardiff University. The figure clearly demonstrates that the two competing trends during this period—across the genders—was balanced between naming oneself on the title page or not. The use of pseudonyms forms a constant but marginal approach when compared to other options.

Fig 1. Authorship on Title Pages of New Fiction, 1800–1829

What is clear, however, is that anonymity on the title page was an increasing policy employed by authors and their publishers, which rose to an incredible 80% by the end of the period charted—this most obviously anticipates what was to happen in the earlier fiction market of the Victorian era. Anonymity in the decade discussed in this paper, however, falls from an almost even keel with naming oneself at the start of the decade to a low-point of 27.5%—slightly over half the 54.3% of 1800. The fall in anonymity seems commensurate to the rise in actual production during this decade, which peaked during the imprint year of 1808 with 111 new titles.

However, the latter half of the 1800s saw the rise of a number of salacious and scandalous titles which shortly led to critical hostility towards the novel genre. This tendency was somewhat checked by the Evangelical phenomenon which occurred in polite fiction, most potently during 1808-14. The attempt to make the novel a ‘proper’ vehicle for moral expression in the context of a youthful readership coincides with the remarkable peaking of anonymity around 1811-12, occurring precisely while the Evangelical incursion was at its height. Despite this rather short-lived inclination towards excessive anonymity in new titles, the trend did continue throughout the 1810s, gradually but consistently. A more pronounced rise occurs c. 1817-18 and continues unabated from just under 60% in 1818, to 70% in 1826, and finally at 79.1% by the end of the decade.

In terms of female anonymity, Fig. 2, below, charts the patterns which mark out fictional ascriptions are somewhat modified. Female-ascribed titles for the 1800s comprise 362 entries out of a total of 770 new titles (i.e. 47%). The decade starts at a high-point of 56.4% of all female-authored titles being exhibited anonymously, probably in response to the intense anti-Jacobin reaction to the novel at the turn of the century. However, the movement is downwards, falling by the imprint year 1804 to 16.7%, and only beginning to rise in the (Evangelically) significant year 1812 with 51.5% of female titles being anonymous.

Fig 2. Authorship on Title Pages of Female-Authored Fiction, 1800–1829

A second drop in anonymity continues throughout the 1810s, before beginning the marked rise in the latter half of the 1820s. While the willingness of women to subscribe their names on title pages remains remarkably consistent throughout the three decades, it should be noted that in absolute terms the slice of the novel-market which female authors actually maintained fluctuated from decade to decade. Male-female authorship for gender-identified titles is not too far apart during the 1800s, on average 47% (female) and 37.5% (male), while in the 1810s women have the greater dominance (52%) when compared to male authors (28.8%). This ratio is reversed during the posy-Scottian 1820s, with male writers comprising 50.8% and women comprising 33.1%. It becomes clear, then, that despite the fact that women were in general as willing—proportionately speaking—to name themselves on title pages, the actual appearance of female-authored works with named ascriptions against the broad canvas of all new titles was by the 1820s in decline.

. Philip Gaskell, A New Introduction to Bibliography (1972; Winchester: St Paul’s Bibliographies, 1974), p. 189.

2. Mary Ann Hanway, Falconbridge Abbey. A Devonshire Story, 5 vols (London: Minerva, 1809).

3. Maria Edgeworth, Belinda, 3 vols (London: Joseph Johnson, 1801), I, ii.

4. See Maurice Couturier, Textual Communication A Print-based Theory of the Novel (London: Routledge, 1991), p. 61.

5. Loc. cit.

6. Loc. cit.

7. Gary Kelly, English Fiction of the Romantic Period 1789-1830 (Harlow: Longman, 1993), p. 73.

8. Peter Garside, James Raven, Rainer Schöwering (gen. eds), The English Novel, 1770-1829: A Bibliographical Survey of Fiction Published in the British Isles, 2 vols(Oxford: OUP, 2000).

9. Henrietta Maria Young, The Castles of Marsange & Nuger; or, the Novitiate of de Rousillon. A Tale, 3 vols (London: Warren, 1809).

10. E. M. Foster, Emily of Lucerne. A Novel, 2 vols (London: Minerva Press, 1800).

11. Anon., Adonia, a Desultory Story, 4 vols (London: Black and Parry & Edinburgh: Bell and Bradfute,1801).

12. See Couturier, Textual Communication, p. 6.

13. Elizabeth Villa-Real Gooch, Sherwood Forest; or Northern Adventures. A Novel, 3 vols (London: S. Highley, 1804).

14. Mary Tuck, Durston Castle; or, the Ghost of Eleonora. A Gothic Story (London: M. Tuck, 1804).

15. Gaskell, New Introduction to Bibliography, p. 298.

16. Couturier, Textual Communication, p. 62.

17. Loc. cit.

18. Anon., The Mysterious Protector: A Novel, 2 vols (London: George Robinson, 1805).

19. Anon, Farther Excursions of the Observant Pedestrian, Exemplified on a Tour to Margate, 4 vols (London: Dutton, 1801).

20. Kathryn Burlinson, ‘Nineteenth-Century Britain’ in The Bloomsbury Guide to Women’s Literature, ed. Claire Buck (London: Bloomsbury, 1992), p. 21.

21. Anon., A Winter In Bath, 4 vols (London: Crosby, 1807); Mrs E. G. Bayfield, A Winter At Bath; or, Love as It May Be, 4 vols (London: Hughes, 1807).

22. Liz Bellamy, Dictionary of British Women Writers (London: Methuen, 1989), p. 461.

23. B. G. MacCarthy, The Female Pen: Women Writers and Novelists 1621–1818 (Cork: Cork University Press, 1994), p. 291.

24. Loc. cit.

25. Couturier, Textual Communication, p. 63.

26. Ibid., p. 61.

27. Ibid., p. 60.

28. Kelly, English Fiction of the Romantic Period, p. 73.

29. Anna Maria Mackenzie, The Irish Guardian, or, Errors of Eccentricity, 3 vols (London: Longmans, 1809).

30. Burlinson, ‘Nineteenth-Century Britain’, p. 22.

31. Elizabeth Hamilton, Translation of Letters to a Hindoo Rajah, 2 vols (London: Robinsons, 1796).

32. MacCarthy, The Female Pen, p. 291.

33. Sydney Owenson, Woman: Or, Ida of Athens, 4 vols (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, 1809).

34. Burlinson, ‘Nineteenth-Century Britain’, p. 23.

35. Patricia Ingham, The Language of Gender and Class (London: Routledge, 1996), p. 22.

36. See Kelly, English Fiction of the Romantic Period, p. 25.

37. Ibid., p. 74.

38. Judith Lowder Newton, Women, Power and Subversion: Social Strategies in British Fiction, 1778-1860 (London: Methuen, 1985), p. xiii.

39. Ibid., p. 6.

40. MacCarthy, The Female Pen, p. 291.

41. Ibid., p. 290.

42. Burlinson, ‘Nineteenth-Century Britain’, p. 23.

43. MacCarthy, The Female Pen, p. 283.


Bibliography of Anonymous Titles, 1800–1829

Below are included all of the samples employed in this study, recorded in condensed form from The English Novel, 1770-1829: A Bibliographical Survey of Fiction Published in the British Isles by Peter Garside, James Raven and Rainer Schöwering (Oxford: OUP, 2000; 2 vols.). The examples have been divided into the three main groups listed discussed in this paper, and the presence of the fourth group—the ‘Mrs’ variant—is indicated by an asterisk (*) prefixing the name details. Notes pertaining to the appearance of signatures, dedications, etc. have also been included.
Each entry lists the full title, year of publication, a condensed version of the publisher’s imprint, and information regarding holdings listed in the Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Short Title Catalogues [ESTC/NSTC]. The presence of copies in the Corvey Microfiche Edition (CME) is also indicated when possible. The letters BI before a list of holding libraries denotes that they are to be found in Britain and Ireland, and similarly the letters NA denote libraries in North America. For the purpose of consistency the abbreviations for holding libraries are the same as those used in the ESTC, even when the source of the holding is the NSTC. Where the edition which provides the entry does not appear in the ESTC or NSTC, this will be denoted by a preceding ‘x’ (e.g. xESTC).

A. Full Names

  1. GOOCH, Eliz[abeth] Sarah Villa-Real.
    Truth and Fiction: A Novel, in Four Volumes. By Eliz. Sarah Villa-Real Gooch. Author of The Contrast, Wanderings of Imagination, Fancied events, &c. &c. (London: Printed at the Apollo Press, by G. Cawthorn, 1801). 4 vols., music. 12mo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-48916-4; ECB 236; xNSTC.
    * Preface, vol. 1, pp. i-xvi, signed Elizabeth Sarah Villa-Real, and dated ‘Michael’s Place, Brompton, 1801’.

  2. *OPIE, [Amelia Alderson].
    The Father and Daughter, A Tale, In Prose: with an Epistle from the Maid of Corinth to Her Lover; and Other Poetical Pieces. By Mrs. Opie.(London: Printed by Davis, Wilks, and Taylor; and Sold by Longman and Rees, 1801).
    C S.727.d.80.29; ECB 423; NSTC O385 (BI O).
    * Dedication to ‘Dr. Alderson, of Norwich’, signed ‘Amelia Opie, Berners Street, 1800’. ‘To the Reader’ expresses apprehension felt ‘as an avowed Author at the bar of public opinion’ (p. [vi]). Tale ends at p. 206, followed by poems.

  3. [YORKE, Mrs R. P. M.].
    The Romance of Smyrna; or, the Prediction Fulfilled!!! In Four Volumes.(London: Printed for Earle and Hemet, 1801). 4 vols. 12mo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-48988-1; ECB 652; xNSTC.
    * Dedication ‘to Sir William Sidney Smith’ signed ‘R. P. M. Yorke’.

  4. *GENLIS, [Stéphanie-Félicité, Comtesse de]; [BARTON, James (trans.)?].
    The Depraved Husband and the Philosophic Wife. In Two Volumes. By Madame Genlis. (London: Printed by W. S. Betham; for B. Crosby and Co. [.] and J. F. Hughes, 1803). 2 vols. 12mo.
    CtY-BR Hfd29.370; ECB 225; xNSTC.
    * Trans. of Le Mari corrupteur suivie de la femme philosophe (Paris, 1803), itself based on Charles Lloyd’s Edmund Oliver (Bristol, 1798). End of text in both vols. signed ‘Ducrest Genlis’.

  5. *GUNNING, [Elizabeth] [afterwards PLUNKETT, Elizabeth].
    The War-Office: A Novel. By Miss Gunning, Author of “The Packet,” “Farmer’s Boy,” &c. &c. In Three Volumes. (London: Printed by J. Cundee; Published for the Author, by M. Jones, 1803). 3 vols. 12mo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-47588-0; xNSTC.
    * Dedication ‘to His Royal Highness the Duke of York’, signed Elizabeth Gunning and dated 1 Dec 1802.

  6. *GOOCH, [Elizabeth Sarah] Villa-Real.
    Sherwood Forest; or Northern Adventures. A Novel. In Three Volumes. By Mrs. Villa-Real Gooch. (London: Printed for S. Highley, (Successor of the late Mr. John Murray,) 1804). 3 vols. 12mo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-47837-5; ECB 236; xNSTC.
    * Dedication ‘to James Wardell, Esq. Wine merchant, Pall Mall’, signed Elizabeth Sarah Villa-Real Gooch, King Street, Hammersmith, 12 Apr 1804.

  7. [TUCK, Mary].
    Durston Castle; or, the Ghost of Eleonora. A Gothic Story. (London: Printed by C. and W. Galabin, for M. Tuck, 1804). 1 vol. 12mo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-47493-0; xNSTC.
    * ‘Address’ to Mrs Crespigny, signed ‘Mary Tuck’, ‘Circulating-Library, near the Adam and Eve, Peckham’.

  8. *SERRES, [Olivia Wilmot].
    St. Julian: In a Series of Letters. By Mrs. J. T. Serres. (London: Printed by D. N. Shury; for J. Ridgway, 1805). 1 vol. 8vo.
    MH-H EC8.Se685.805s; xNSTC.
    * Frontispiece portrait of ‘Olivia Serres’.

  9. D[OHERTY], H[ugh].
    The Discovery; or, the Mysterious Separation of Hugh Doherty, Esq. and Ann His Wife. By H. D. Esq. (London: Printed by G. Sidney. To Be Had only at No. 12, Temple Place, Blackfriars Road, 1807). 1 vol. 12mo.
    ViU CT848.D6A3.1807; ECB 164; xNSTC.
    * ‘To the Reader’, pp. [v]-xcv, signed ‘Hugh Doherty, Half-pay, late 23d Lt. Dragoons. 12, Temple Place, Blackfriars-road, London’. Drop-head title on p. [1] reads: ‘The Discovery; a Domestic Tale’. Quasifictional elements, especially in epistolary exchanges, alongside more basic details of a private fracas.

  10. [HIRST, Augusta Ann].
    Helen; or Domestic Occurrences. A Tale. In Two Volumes. (London: Printed for the Author: Sold by W. Bent, 1807). 2 vols. 12mo.
    MH-H EC8.H6181.807h; ECB 271; NSTC H1826 (BI O) [Later edn. 1808 (Corvey—a reissue by the Minerva Press with the author’s name on t.p., but minus the preliminaries), CME 3-628-47712-3].
    * Dedication ‘to the Right Honorable Countess Fitzwilliam’, signed Augusta Ann Hirst, London, 6 Apr 1807. ‘Names of Subscribers'(568 listed), vol. 1, pp. [xi]-xxx.

  11. *DOHERTY, [Ann].
    Ronaldsha; A Romance, In Two Volumes. By Mrs. Doherty, Wife of Hugh Doherty, Esq. Author of The “Discovery; or, Mysterious Separation.” (London: Published by H. D. Symonds; and May Be Had of All the Booksellers in the United Kingdom, 1808). 2 vols. 12mo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-47442-6; ECB 167; xNSTC.
    * Inscription to ‘Thomas Hunter, Esq. and Hannah, his Wife’, signed ‘Hugh Doherty’. ‘Dedication’, vol. 1, pp. [vii]-xvii, again signed ‘Hugh Doherty’, and dated ‘4, Melina Place, Westminster Road’, London, 25 Apr 1808. Preface, vol. 1, pp. [xxi]-xlv, also signed ‘Hugh Doherty’. ‘Apology’, at the end of vol. 2, pp. 259-62, signed and dated like the Dedication. This is followed by an adv. for a new edn., ‘just published’, of ‘The Discovery; or, the Mysterious Separation of Hugh Doherty, Esq. and Ann, his Wife’.

  12. [RICKMAN, Thomas ‘Clio’].
    Atrocities of a Convent, or the Necessity of Thinking for Ourselves, Exemplified in the History of a Nun. By a Citizen of the World. (London: Printed by and for Clio Rickman; and to Be Had of All Booksellers, 1808). 3 vols. 12mo.
    CLU-S/C PZ 2.1.A882; xNSTC.
    * Vol. 3 contains at end 4pp. (unn.) advs. headed ‘Also written [sic] and published by Thomas Clio Rickman’. This list contains works which are known to have been authored by Thomas ‘Clio’ Rickman (1761-1834), who was also featured in a contemporary portrait by Robert Dighton as ‘A Citizen of the World’ (see DNB). The attribution of this rare novel to him has apparently not been previously made [i.e. until the publication of English Novels, 1770-1829].

  13. [SEDLEY, Charles] [pseud.?].
    The Faro Table; or, the Gambling Mothers. A Fashionable Fable. In Two Volumes. By the Author of “The Barouche Driver and his Wife,” &c. &c. &c. (London: Printed by J. Dean. For J. F. Hughes, 1808). 2 vols. 12mo.
    BL 12611.aaa.25; ECB 525; NSTC S1061 (BI O).
    * Preface signed Charles Sedley, London, 21 Dec 1807. ‘Postcript [sic] by the Publisher’ (vol. 2, pp. 181-90), describing an attack on his person by Hon. Richard Augustus Butler Danvers, and which also mentions that ‘Charles Sedley was a fictitious person’ (p. 182), signed J. F. Hughes, 5, Wigmore Street.

  14. *HANWAY, [Mary Ann].
    Falconbridge Abbey. A Devonshire Story. In Five Volumes. By Mrs. Hanway, Author of Ellinor, and Andrew Stuart. (London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for Lane, Newman, and Co., 1809). 5 vols. 12mo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-47621-6; ECB 254; NSTC H477 (BI BL).
    * Dedication ‘to James Buller, Esq. Member of Parliament for Exeter’ signed ‘Mary Ann Hanway’, and dated Blackheath, 15 Dec 1808.

  15. *MACKENZIE, [Anna Maria].
    The Irish Guardian, or, Errors of Eccentricity. In Three Volumes. By Mrs. Mackenzie. (London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, 1809). 3 vols. 12mo.
    BL 1153.i.17; ECB 360; NSTC M344 [1811 as Almeria D’Aveiro; or, the Irish Guardian (Corvey—a reissue by A. K. Newman, with same colophon), CME 628-48094-9].
    * Preface, vol. 1, pp. [i]-iv, signed Anna Maria Mackenzie, reads: ‘The Author perceives she cannot conclude without paying a feeble tribute of praise to those male writers, who have thought it no degradation of their dignity [.] to [.] improve and amuse in the form of a novel’ (p. iv).

  16. *OWENSON, [Sydney] [afterwards MORGAN, Lady Sydney].
    Woman: Or, Ida of Athens. By Miss Owenson, Author of The “Wild Irish Girl,” The “Novice Of St. Dominick,” &c. In Four Volumes. (London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, 1809). 4 vols. 12mo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-48374-3; ECB 396; NSTC O738 (BI BL, C, E, O).
    * ‘To the Public’, vol. 1, pp. [iii]-vii signed ‘Sydney Owenson’ and dated Dublin, 18 Nov 1808. This carries a footnote which states: ‘The “Wild Irish Girl” was written in six weeks; the “Sketches” in one; and “Woman,” though I had long revolved its plan and tendency in my mind, and frequently mentioned it in society, was not begun until the 20th of last July. It was written at intervals, in England, Wales, and Ireland, and almost always in the midst of what is called the world. It was finished on the 18th of October, and is now printed from the first copy’ (p. vn).

  17. *PECK, [Frances].
    The Young Rosiniere; or, Sketches of the World. A Novel, In Three Volumes; by Mrs. Peck, Author of The Maid Of Avon, Welch Peasant Boy, &c. (London: Printed for Henry Colburn, 1809). 3 vols. 12mo.
    Dt 200.r.122-124; ECB 477; NSTC P916.
    * Dedication ‘to the Right Hon. the Countess of Londonderry’, signed Frances Peck. Quarterly Review 3 (Feb 1810), 267 gives as ‘By Mr. Rach, of Dublin’, The English Catalogue of Books, Preliminary Volume, 1801-1836—edd. Robert Alexander Peddie and Quintin Waddington (1914; New York: Kraus Reprint Corporation, 1963)—lists under ‘Rach’.

  18. WILLIAMSON, T[homas].
    The Dominican; a Romance: Of Which the Principal Traits Are Taken from Events Relating to a Family of Distinction, Which Emigrated from France during the Revolution. By Captain T. Williamson, Author of The Wild Sports of the East. In Three Volumes. (London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, 1809). 3 vols. 12mo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-48930-X; ECB 640; NSTC W2178 (BI BL).
    * Dedication ‘to His Most Christian Majesty, Louis XVIII. King of France and Navarre’ signed ‘Thomas Williamson’, dated London, 5 Feb 1809.

  19. [YOUNG, Henrietta Maria (trans.?)].
    The Castles of Marsange & Nuger; or, the Novitiate de Rousillon. A Tale, Altered from the French by a Lady. In Which Is Introduced the History of Paulina & Isabella. By the Translator. In Three Volumes. (Faversham: Printed and Sold by Warren; Sold in London by J. Richardson; B. Crosby and Co.; and the Other Booksellers, 1809). 3 vols. 12mo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-47220-2; ECB 101; xNSTC.
    * No French original discovered. Dedication ‘to the Right Hon. Lady Sondes’ signed ‘Henrietta Maria Young’, Faversham, Sept 1809. Preface signed ‘The Translator’.

B. Initials

  1. ANON.
    Tales of Truth. By a Lady. Under the Patronage of the Duchess of York. In Four Volumes. (London: Printed by T. Plummer, for R. Dutton, 1800). 4 vols. 8vo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-48874-5; EM 1279: 10; ESTC n013589 (NA MH-H, NjP).
    * Dedication to the Duchess of York signed ‘E. H.’.

  2. [EARLE, William (jun.)].
    Obi; or, the History of Three-Fingered Jack. In a Series of Letters from a Resident in Jamaica to His Friend in England. (London: Printed for Earle and Hemet, 1800). 1 vol. 12mo.
    ViU PR.3431.E171800; ESTC t176735 (BI BL, Lics; NA NjP, PU).
    * ‘Advertisement’ signed ‘W. E. J.’.

  3. [FOSTER, Mrs E. M.].
    Emily of Lucerne. A Novel. In Two Volumes. By the Author of The Duke of Clarence. (London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for William Lane, 1800). 2 vols. 12mo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-47563-5; ESTC n030766 (NA PU).
    * Dedication in the 2nd vol. after t.p. ‘to Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales’ signed ‘E. M. F.’.

  4. [FOSTER, Mrs E. M.].
    Frederic & Caroline, or the Fitzmorris Family. A Novel. In Two Volumes. By the Author of Rebecca, Judith, Miriam, &c. ( London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for William Lane, 1800). 2 vols. 12mo.
    BL 12613.aaa.11; CME 3-628-47838-3; EM 199: 2; ESTC t068576 (NA CaAEU).
    * Dedication ‘to Her Royal Highness, the Princess of Wales’, signed ‘E. M. F’. The Dedication is not found in the Corvey copy of this title.

  5. *THICKNESSE, [Ann].
    The School for Fashion, in Two Volumes. By Mrs. Thicknesse. (London: Printed by H. Reynell, for Debrett and Fores, Hookham, and Robinsons, 1800). 2 vols., ill. 8vo.
    CtY-BR 1975.801; ECB 584; ESTC n036333 (BI C; NA PPL).
    * ‘Dedication. To Fashion’, signed ‘A. T.’, vol. I, pp. [v]-xvii. Frontispiece portrait of ‘Mrs Thickness’, opp. t.p. in vol. 1; similar portrait of ‘Philp. Thickness Esq’ opp. t.p. in vol. 2.

  6. *HATFIELD, Miss [S.].
    She Lives in Hopes; or, Caroline. A Narration Founded Upon Facts. By Miss Hatfield, of Manchester. (By Permission) Dedicated to Her Royal Highness the Princess of Orange and Nassau. In Two Volumes. (London: Published for the Authoress, and Sold by Parsons and Son, Vernor and Hood, Carpenter and Co. [.] Clarks, Bancks, and Thomson, Manchester; and Merritts and Wright, Liverpool, 1801). 2 vols. 12mo.
    BL 12611.bbb.17; ECB 258; NSTC H870.
    * Dedication signed S. Hatfield, London, 16 Apr 1801.

  7. ANON.
    The Mysterious Protector: A Novel. Dedicated to Lady Crespigny. In Two Volumes. (London: Printed for George Robinson, 1805). 2 vols. 12mo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-48181-3; ECB 403; NSTC P3227 (BI BL, C).
    * Dedication signed ‘M. C.’. Novel proper ends vol. 2, p. 198, followed by ‘Fugitive Verses’ (pp. [199]-203).

  8. *TEMPLE, Mrs [F.].
    Ferdinand Fitzormond; or, The Fool of Nature. By Mrs. Temple. In Five Volumes. (London: Printed for Richard Phillips; by B. M’Millan, 1805). 5 vols. 12mo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-48948-2; ECB 582; NSTC T460 (BI BL).
    * ‘Advertisement’, signed ‘F. Temple’, dated London, May, 1805.

  9. *ROBERTS, Mrs [D.].
    Delmore, Or Modern Friendship. A Novel. In Three Volumes. By Mrs. Roberts. (London: Printed for the Author, and Sold by R. Faulder, 1806). 3 vols. 12mo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-48653-X; xNSTC.
    * Dedication ‘to Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales’ signed D. Roberts, Clarence Place.

  10. *BUTLER, [Harriet].
    Count Eugenio; or, Fatal Errors: A Tale, Founded on Fact. By Mrs. Butler. In Two Volumes. (London: Printed for J. F. Hughes, 1807). 2 vols. 12mo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-47149-4; ECB 89; xNSTC.
    * Dedication ‘to a Member of the British Senate’, dated May 1807′ and signed ‘H. B.’.

  11. *DUNCOMBE, Mrs [A].
    The Village Gentleman, and the Attorney at Law; a Narrative. By Mrs. Duncombe. In Two Volumes. (London: Printed for J. Hatchard, 1808). 2 vols. 12mo.
    BL 838.b.27; ECB 174; NSTC D2184 (BI E, O).
    * Dedication to the the Countess of Albemarle, signed A. Duncombe. ‘subscribers’ Names’ (56 listed), vol. 1, pp. [iii]-v. According to The Feminist Companion to Literature in English—edd. Virginia Blain, Isobel Grundy, and Patricial Clements (London, 1990)—this novel is falsely ascribed to Susanna Duncombe (née Highmore), whose husband’s Christian name was John.

C. Gender

  1. ANON.
    The Spirit of Turretville: Or, the Mysterious Resemblance. A Romance of the Twelfth Century: In Two Volumes. (London: Printed by J. D. Dewick, for R. Dutton, 1800). 2 vols. 12mo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-48800-1; EM 131: 4; ESTC t066395 (BI BL).
    * ‘Advertisement’, regarding subject of novel, states: ‘The Proprietor of an extensive circulating library informed him [the author], that he could not keep a ghost or a spirit at home’ (p. [iii]).

  2. ANON.
    Farther Excursions of the Observant Pedestrian, Exemplified in a Tour to Margate. In Four Volumes. By the Author of The “Observant Pedestrian,” in Two Volumes, “Mystic Cottager,” “Montrose,” &c. ( London: Printed for R. Dutton, by J. D. Dewick, 1801). 4 vols. 12mo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-47635-6; NSTC M1127 (BI BL, O).
    * Introductory ‘To The Reviewers In General’ asserts female authorship.

  3. [FOSTER, Mrs E. M.].
    Concealment, or the Cascade of Llantwarryhn. A Tale. In Two Volumes. By the Author of Miriam, Judith, Fedaretta, &c. (London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for William Lane, 1801). 2 vols. 12mo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-47307-1; ECB 129; xNSTC.
    * ‘To The Reader’ (unnumbered) refers to ‘The authoress of the ensuing work’.

  4. [RICHARDSON, Caroline E.].
    Adonia, a Desultory Story, in Four Volumes. Inscribed, by Permission, to Her Grace the Duchess of Buccleugh. (London: Printed for A. & J. Black & H. Parry; and Bell & Bradfute, Edinburgh, 1801). 4 vols. 12mo.
    BL 12614.cc.15; ECB 6; NSTC A479 (BI E, O).
    * Dedication by ‘the Authoress’ dated London, 19 Jan 1801. Catalogue [1810-16] of MacKay’s Circulating Library (Edinburgh) lists as ‘by Mrs. Richardson’. Also identified in Jackson as Richardson, Caroline E., Mrs George G. (1777-1853), the wife of George Richardson, a servant of the East India Company, and herself eventually proprietor of the Berwick Advertiser. This is a different author from Charlotte Caroline Richardson, author of The Soldier’s Child (1821: 63).

  5. ANON.
    The History of Netterville, a Chance Pedestrian. A Novel. In Two Volumes. (London: Printed by J. Cundee, [.] for Crosby and Co., 1802). 2 vols. 12mo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-47672-0; ECB 273; NSTC N578 (BI O).
    * Dedication, signed ‘The Authoress’, describes this as a ‘second attempt in the region of fiction’.

  6. ANON.
    The Mysteries of Abruzzo, by the Author of the Child of Doubt, &c. In Two Volumes. (London: Printed by and for R. Cantwell; and Sold by Hughes, 1802). 2 vols. 12mo.
    No copy of 1st edn. located; ECB 403; xNSTC.
    * Details above replicate Corvey 2nd edn. (CME 3-628-48177-5), where ‘Advertisement’ indicates female authorship. Eliza Beaumont and Harriet Osborne; or, The Child of Doubt (1789) is by Indiana Brooks, but apart from the similarity of the subtitle no evidence has been discovered about the authorship of this title.

  7. ANON.
    Amasina, or the American Foundling. In Two Volumes. Dedicated by Permission to Lady Cotter. (London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for Lane, Newman, and Co., 1804. 2 vols. 12mo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-47052-8; ECB 14; NSTC A1082 (BI O)
    * Dedication signed ‘the Authoress’. T.p. attribution later indicates by the same author as The Soldier of Pennaflor (1810).

  8. [ROBERTSON, Eliza Frances].
    Destiny: Or, Family Occurrences: An Interesting Narrative. In Two Volumes. (London: Printed by William Burton. Sold by Mr. Ryan, near Pantheon, Oxford Street; and May also Be Had of the Principal Booksellers in the United Kingdoms; and at All the Circulating Libraries, [1804?]). 2 vols. 12mo.
    BL N.1898; NSTC D947.
    * Recto following t.p. reads: ‘The Author presents most respectful Thanks to those Ladies and Gentlemen who did her the Honor of subscribing for this Work; but being few in number, and some, from a Wish to conceal their Benevolence, having forbid their Names to appear, a List of Subscribers is omitted.’ Eliza Robertson was imprisoned for debt, and died in the Fleet Prison (Jackson).

  9. ANON.
    The Castle of Santa Fe. A Novel. In Four Volumes. By a Clergyman’s Daughter, Author of Jealousy, or the Dreadful Mistake. (London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for Lane, Newman, and Co., 1805). 4 vols. 12mo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-47223-7; ECB 100; NSTC C2390 (BI BL, O).
    * Dedication to the Honourable Mrs Ariana Egerton, with a footnote stating ‘This Dedication was designed for the Press, by the truly amiable and lamented Author of this Work, a short time before she-DIED!’. British Library and Bodleian catalogues list under Cleeve, Miss; though Dorothy Blakey—The Minerva Press 1790–1820 (London: The Bibliographical Society, 1939)—treats both this title and Jealousy (1802) as anonymous. No further information about Miss Cleeve has been discovered.

  10. ANON.
    Forresti; or, the Italian Cousins. A Novel. In Three Volumes. By the Author of Valambrosa [sic]. (London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for Lane, Newman, and Co., 1806). 3 vols. 12mo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-47824-3; ECB 211; xNSTC.
    * ‘P.S.’ at the end of vol. 3 concerning over-severe ‘criticism upon his last publication’ in the Critical Review 3rd ser. 11 (May 1807), 96-97: male authorship implied. Writing about Valombrosa; or the Venetian Nun (London: Minerva Press, 1805; 2 vols.), Critical Review 3rd ser. 4 (Mar 1805), 329 states: ‘We cannot congratulate this gentleman (for a male performance it must certainly be) on the slightest ambition to imitate that delicacy which is one of the many beauties so profusely scattered over the writings of Mrs Radcliffe’.

  11. ANON.
    Marianna; or, Modern Manners. A Novel. In Two Volumes. (London: Printed by Luke Hansard & Sons, for T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1808). 2 vols. 12mo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-48157-0; NSTC M1136 (BI BL, C).
    * Preface dated London, 1 June 1808; this implies male authorship.

  12. ANON.
    Newminster Abbey, or the Daughter Of O’More. A Novel, Founded on Facts. And Interspersed with Original Poetry and Picturesque and Faithful Sketches of Various Countries. In Two Volumes. (London: Printed by B. Clarke, for J. F. Hughes, 1808). 2 vols. 12mo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-48194-5; NSTC O334 (BI BL).
    * Preface, pp. [iii]-iv, implies male authorship.

  13. [PALMER, Alicia Tyndal].
    The Husband and the Lover. An Historical and Moral Romance. In Three Volumes. (London: Printed for Lackington, Allen, and Co., 1809). 3 vols. 12mo.
    Corvey; CME 3-628-47679-8; ECB 290; xNSTC.
    * Author’s note in vol. 3, pp. 373-4 states: ‘The Author has endeavoured, in this work, carefully to avoid violating any important historic fact. She has founded her little tale on the circumstance of John Sobieski, after ascending the throne of Poland, having so far acknowledged a son of the Marchioness de Briscacier to be his, as to exert his influence with Louis XIV, to confer on that son the title of Duke’. Her note also calls the novel ‘this first essay of her pen’.