Reviews of Catherine Cuthbertson's work
Critical Review series 5 volume 1 ( June 1815 ) p 634
Adelaide, or, The Countercharm by the Author of Santo Sebastiano, or the Young Pretender, etc.
5 vols. Pp 429, 419, 432, 436, 424 G & S Robinson 1815
"Much ado about nothing." The character of the heroine probably is outraged to exalt human nature. The Irish domestics, who had served the heroine from her infancy, and are voluntary partakers in her embarrassed fortunes, are well drawn; but this kind of national compliment abounds in every novel.
Critical Review series 5 volume 1 ( Mar 1815 ) p 312
Santo Sebastiano, or the Young Pretender. A Novel.
5 vols. Third Edition. Pp 418, 403, 415, 422, 451. G & S Robinson
We have long been aware of the publication of this work; but really, its unconscionable bulk deterred us, month after month, from encountering the toil of ploughing through 2109 pages. Good report, however, has urged us to the undertaking; and we must confess that, notwithstanding, it often reminded us of
‘ a twice told tale,
Vexing the ears of a drowzy man,’
we found many animated sketches of morality, pleasingly contrasting the beauties of virtue with the deformities of vice.
The character of an atheistical man of fashion, whose polished sophistry had nearly effected the ruin of the amiable heroine of a principal tale, is well drawn. A cynical and fastidious husband, reclaimed by the exemplary conduct of his wife, and other prominent events, cannot fail to amuse without prejudice to the chastest sentiments.
We could wish, however, that the work partook less of a Richardsoniana. The alderman may be delighted with a delicious repetition of feasting; and full-grown ladies and gentlemen - particularly those of pic-nic notoriety - may join in sentimental blindman’s buff with the author; remembering, always, the pleasures they have enjoyed at the innocent game of hunt the slipper on their converzasioni nights. - Alas! no more.
Antijacobin Review 8 ( Jan 1801 ) p 59
Adelaide of Narbonne: With Memoirs of Charlotte de Cordet. 4 vols. 12mo. Lane. London 1800
It has long been the practice among novel writers to twine some fanciful invention with historical facts, and produce from this connection a story of greater interest. The author of this book has availed herself ( for we somehow imagine it to be the production of a female ) of this custom, and with no little ingenuity has worked fiction and fact together, laying her scene on the tangent line of La Vendee, introducing many well-known characters of the French, making their propensities and actions subservient to her well-told tale. She holds the scale of politics with so even a hand, as far as mere opinion reaches, that it were impossible to learn her own decided sentiments; while she execrates the sanguinary horrors of a Revolution and all the miseries of republican France, for in her delineation of Charlotte de Cordet, she describes her ‘as a republican but a rational one;’ and in her character of an Englishman she draws him "as a rational royalist." By the way, those who seem to have known that heroine well, do not consider her to have been a republican.
As her scene is in the neighbourhood of La Vendee, the time is that of Marat; many of the numerous anecdotes, related about him and his contemporaries, are interspersed so artfully as to become part of her story. While her sentiments on the form of government are undiscoverable, those of obedience to the laws - of strict morality - of pure religion - are every where such as to do credit to her heart; and her work may be considered not less instructive than amusing.
Literary Journal 5 ( April 1805 ) pp 436 - 437
The Nun and her Daughter; or Memoirs of the Courville Family. 2 vols. 12mo. 18s. Lane and Newman.
This novel is certainly superior to many publications of the same description. The adventures of some of the branches of the house of Courville, are to be sure not consistent with probability, but a latitude may be allowed in this respect. The style is not unobjectionable. It is too stiff and laboured, and abounds with those affected expressions, especially when death scenes are introduced, which form a prominent feature in the worst works of this kind. The story, however, is told in a manner that indicates a fertile imagination, and excites a great deal of interest.
Monthly Magazine Suppl v 20 ( Jan 31, 1806 ) p 616
To those who are delighted with the marvellous and the sympathetic, the productions of the last half year, in the novel class, may prove amusing. And occasionally, it will be found, good sentiments and good reflections are not incompatible with trap-doors, false panels, and subterranean passages.
The nuns, late as the aera of their appearance may be deemed, are still leading characters; and the titles, perhaps, of the "Confessions of the Nuns of St. Omer’s," "The Nun of the Desart," "The Nun and her Daughter," CONOLLY’S "Friar’s Tale" Mrs SERRES’ "St Julian," and "The Paraclete," are as much as a sensible reader will enquire after.
Back to Index Page