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|Not exactly a review...and a few reviews
Written by Margaret C
(2/3/2013 2:59 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Thankyou, penned by Anushka
In chapter XX of John Murray's memoir, there is an exchange of correspondence between himself and the Marchioness of Abercorn, who had (like Jane and Henry Austen) enjoyed his largesse in the form of being sent the latest fruits of his press to read for free.
The Marchioness responds to this "Pray send us Miss Austen's novels the moment you can.".
It seems that the reviewers, like the Marchioness, were interested in the novels, but more so in the person of the novelist, too late. (I get a distinct impression that some of these early reviewers were only interested in pedalling the personal details of a Lady Authoress, that there is a certain triumph in the knowledge that this author is just a plain 'Jane' with no great title, and the consciousness of what a critic would be seen to be, if he were to mercilessly scourge an author already dead, the only real restraint for some of these.)
There are more, but most are merely notices of new works, and probably paid for by the publisher (as, no doubt, were some of her reviews - John Murray bankrolled the Quarterly Review, so Scott was very much obliged to him when the review of Emma came out, in an edition already three months late. It might also explain why Whatley was indulged with such a lengthy review of a book that was not at all a new publication, by 1821)
|A Publisher and His Friends (Gutenberg)|
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