Adopt an Author

Secondary Reading List on

Selina Davenport

Louise Watkins, May 1998

Institutions and Societies

My thanks and gratitude to everyone who helped me from the institutions and societies listed below.

Canterbury Cathedral Archives, The Precincts, Canterbury, CT1 2EH (Tel. 01227 463510).

Provided me with invaluable information regarding the Wheler family of Otterden Place, Kent. Thanks to James King in particular.

Chester Records Office, Duke Street, Chester (Tel 01244 602424).

Information regarding Selina Davenport's death.

City of Westminster Archives Centre, 10 St. Ann's Street, London, SW1P 2XR (Tel. 0171 6412180).

Information regarding records of birth and marriage.

Genealogy Society, 14 Charterhouse Buildings, Goswell Road, London EC1M 7 BA (Tel. 0171 251 8799).

Very helpful as regards research in general and able to guide one to other sources.

Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section, Aldermanbury, London EC2P 2EJ (Tel. 0171 332 1863).

Nothing in the way of information I hadn't got already, but advised where to go next.

Joan Leach, The Gaskell Society, Far Yew Tree House, Over Tabley, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 OHN.

Very helpful lady who gave me information regarding Gaskell, Knutsford, local churches, buildings and Census records.

Knutsford Library, Knutsford, Cheshire (Tel. 01565 632909).

Interesting local section, information re: Elizabeth Gaskell, burial records for 3 churches, 1841, 51 and 61 Censuses.

Leeds University Brotherton Library, Leeds (Tel. 0113 2335513).

Extensive range of old periodicals.

London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London ECIR OHB (Tel. 0171 332 3824).

No new information, but useful advice.

Public Records Office, Ruskin Avenue, Richmondupon-Thames, Surrey TW9 4DU (Tel. 0181 876 3444).

Holds details of military service and wills. Lack of funds prevented my visiting, but there is a slim possibility that Captain Wheler's military record and R. A. Davenport's will are here.

Sheffield Hallam University, Collegiate Crescent, Sheffield (Tel. 0114 2255555).

Useful texts, Royal Literary Fund Archives, Corvey Collection on microfiche, internet facilities and inter-library loans.

Sheffield University Library, Sheffield (Tel. 0114 2227200).

Useful texts and some periodicals.


On the Gothic

Botting, Fred. 1996. Gothic. London: Routledge.

Description of what the term "Gothic" means and its development in literary forms up until the present day. Very readable.

Howard, Jacqueline. 1994. Reading Gothic Fiction. Oxford: Clarendon.

A discussion of Gothic fiction based around a Bakhtinian approach. Chapter 2 on Women and the Gothic is very useful. Goes on to consider specific Gothic texts.

Howells, Coral Ann. 1978. Love, Mystery and Misery: Feeling in Gothic Fiction. London: The Athlone Press.

Historical information as regards the Gothic genre, themes, values and techniques found in Gothic fiction, information on the Minerva Press and consideration of various texts and authors. Relationship between sex and the Gothic novel.

Miles, Robert. 1993. Gothic Writing 1750-1820 - A Genealogy. London: Routledge.

As the title suggests a Gothic genealogy, based on Michel Foucault's model. Numerous Gothic texts discussed.

Summers, Montague. 1968. The Gothic Quest. London: Fortune.

Very detailed description of Gothic literature and its development, Gothic in relation to other genres, discussing the studies (or lack) of the Gothic genre and information on publishers and circulating libraries. Hundreds of texts discussed.

On Romanticism and Sensibility

Dabundo, Laura (ed.). 1992. Encyclopaedia of Romanticism. London: Routledge.

Useful entries on Edmund Burke, Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, the Sublime, the Gothic and other things.

Frye, Northrop. 1976. The Secular Scripture - a Study of the Structure of Romance. London: Harvard Univ. Press.

A discussion of Romantic fiction and its key elements; suggestions also made as to what the reader gains out of such fiction.

Mellor, A. K. 1993. Romanticism and Gender London: Routledge.

A very readable text, discussion of the differences between masculine and feminine Romanticism. Clear information on Mary Wollestonecraft. Good consideration of examples throughout.

Todd, Janet. 1986. Sensibility - an Introduction. London: Methuen.

Key defining factors found in Sentimental literature and discussion of examples. Changing definitions and differences of the following terms; sentiment, sensibility, sentimentalism.

Selina Davenport's Work

Davenport, Selina. 1813. The Sons of the Viscount and the Daughter of the Earl. London: Colburn.

See synopsis.

Davenport, Selina. 1824. Preference. London, Newman.

See synopsis.

On Women's Writing

Colby, Vineta. 1970. The Singular Anomaly - Women Novelists of the Nineteenth Century. London: Univ. of London Press.

Interesting introduction re. women's writing. Deals mainly with novelists of the late 19th century, so not very useful for Selina Davenport's era.

Kelly, Gary. 1993. Women, Writing and the Revolution 1790-1827. Oxford: Clarendon.

Deals with the relationship between women writers and the political and cultural revolutions of the late 1700's, early 1800's. Good historical perspective and information on Mary Wollstonecraft. Kelly later goes on to consider three women writers of the time Helen Maria Williams, Mary Hays and Elizabeth Hamilton - none of whom I'd heard of!

Miles, Rosalind. 1987. The Female Form - Women Writers and the Conquest of the Novel. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Women's relationship with the novel both as readers and writers, the novel as a female genre. Ideas surrounding Romantic fiction. Useful and readable.

Moers, Ellen. 1978. Literary Women. London: The Women's Press.

A classic text, detailed and thorough. Good chapter on Female Gothic. Moers links this genre with women's psychology and sexuality.

Showalter, Elaine. 1977. A Literature of their Own. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press.

Women and the literary traits and traditions surrounding them. How women writers are/were viewed. Showalter complains that literary criticism has focused on only a few female writers and then goes on to do the same in this book! Very readable, however.

Spacks, Patricia Meyer. 1976. The Female Imagination. London: Allen & Unwin.

Women's imagination as seen in literature. Recurring themes and characters found in literature by women. Range of texts considered from the 18th century to the 20th.

Spencer, Jane. 1986. The Rise of the Woman Novelist - from Aphra Behn to Jane Austen. Oxford: Blackwell.

Excellent, very readable text on the development of the novel and the female writer. Spencer suggests that there are three different responses by women writers to their subordinate position - protest, acceptance or escape. She goes on to discuss all three under the titles Seduced Heroines, Reformed Heroines and Romance Heroines.

Yeazell, Ruth Bernard. 1991. Fictions of Modesty -Women and Courtship in the English Novel. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

Useful discussion regarding female modesty, a predominant theme especially in 18th and 19th Century literature. Incorporates Mary Wollstonecraft's thinking on the subject.

Other General Reading, Bibliographies, Catalogues

Bateson, F.W (ed.). 1966. The Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature 1800-1900. Vol. 3. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.

All of Selina Davenport's work is listed.

Blain, Virginia, Patricia Clements, and Isobel Grundy. 1990. The Female Companion to Literature in English. London: Batsford.

Good entries on Selina Davenport, the Porter sisters and Elizabeth Gaskell.

Blakey, Dorothy. 1939. The Minerva Press 1790-1820. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Excellent information on William Lane and Minerva, a comment on Selina Davenport, lists of texts. Quite scathing about her subject!

Block, Andrew. 1968. The English Novel 1740-1850; A Catalogue including Prose Romances. Short Stories and Translations of Foreign Fiction. Dawsons.

All Selina Davenport's work is listed. Gives references to reviews, booksellers etc.

British Library Catalogue - General Catalogue of Printed Books to 1975. No. 77 Darby-Davie. London, KG. Saur, 1981.

All Selina Davenport's work is listed.

Buck, Claire. 1992. Bloomsbury Guide to Women's Literature. London: Bloomsbury.

No information.

Mayo, Robert D. 1962. The English Novels in the Magazines 1740-1815: With a catalogue of Magazine Novels and Novelettes. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

No information on Selina Davenport, but quite interesting generally.

New Monthly Magazine 2 (Nov 1814): 350.

New Universal Magazine s3 1 (Oct 1814): 299-300.

Two critical reviews found on Selina Davenport's work. A general browse through these publications and other periodicals revealed nothing specifically on Selina Davenport, except listings under New Publications. However, they helped put her work in context.

Peddie, RA and Q Waddington, eds. 1914. The English Catalogue of Books 1801-1836. London: Publisher's Circular.

Lists all Selina's work published with Minerva (10 texts), includes on some month of publication and prices.

Shattock, Joanne. 1993. Oxford Guide to British Women Writers. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

No information.

Stephen, L and S. Lee, eds. Founded by George Smith. 1917. Dictionary of National Biography, London: Oxford Univ. Press.

Information on James Annesley, Sir George Wheler, Granville Wheler, Richard Alfred Davenport, the Porter sisters and Mrs Gaskell.

Summers, Montague. 1964. A Gothic Bibliography. London: Fortune.

All of Selina Davenport's work is listed.

Surtees, Robert. 1816. A History of Durham. London: Nicholson and Bentley.

Wheler Pedigree and information on the Wheler family, in particular Sir George.

Todd, Janet. ed. 1989. Dictionary of British Women Writers. London: Routledge.

No information.

Tompkins, J. M. S. 1961. The Popular Novel in England 1770-1800. London: Methuen.

Excellent, if dated, text. Loads of information and good chapters on 'The Female Novelists' and 'The Gothic Romance'.

Ward, S. 1972. Literary Reviews in British Periodicals 1798-1820: A Bibliography, London: Garland.

Only two reviews listed.

Ward, S. 1977. Literary Reviews in British Periodicals 1821-1826. London: Garland.

No reviews listed.

Watson, Nicola J. 1994. Revolution and the Form of the British Novel 1790-1825. Oxford: Clarendon.

This book explores the connections between the French Revolution and literature, in particular sentimental literature. Also, connections between state and personal revolutions. Different responses i.e. conservative, radical.