Books and Borrowing 1750-1830

Tag: Forgotten Best Sellers

Forgotten Best-Sellers: Elizabeth Hamilton’s The Cottagers of Glenburnie (1808)

In 1808, Scottish author Elizabeth Hamilton published her third and final novel, titled The Cottagers of Glenburnie. As Pam Perkins observes in her introduction to what is currently the only extant scholarly edition of this novel, Cottagers became ‘when it was first published […] an immediate critical and popular success’.[1] It is with this success […]

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Another Forgotten Bestseller: Edward Bulwer Lytton’s Paul Clifford (1830)

To celebrate Book Week Scotland this week, we are presenting another forgotten bestseller. “It was a dark and stormy night”. Inspired by Linda Cracknell’s Creative Writing workshop in August, I decided to read the book with that famous first line. The book is, of course, Edward Bulwer Lytton’s Paul Clifford, first published in 1830, and […]

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Forgotten Best-Sellers: Susan Ferrier’s The Inheritance (1824)

In 1824, Edinburgh-born Scottish novelist Susan Ferrier published her second of three novels, titled The Inheritance. The Inheritance was preceded by Marriage, published in 1818, and followed by Destiny, which was published in 1831. Ronnie Young describes The Inheritance as ‘the most critically successful of [Ferrier’s] works’,[1] and indeed, on 11 June 1824, Ferrier’s publisher, […]

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Forgotten Best-Sellers: Alain-René Lesage, Gil Blas (1715-35)

Over the past few weeks, prompted by seeing a copy of it in Walter Scott’s library during our trip to Abbotsford, I have been enjoying reading another forgotten best-seller, Alain-René Lesage’s L’Histoire de Gil Blas de Santillane. I’ve been reading it in the 1748 translation by Tobias Smollett, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, […]

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