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Romance Readers and Romance Writers: A Satirical Novel [Secure eReader]
eBook by Sarah Green

eBook Category: Mainstream
eBook Description: Little is known about early nineteenth-century novelist Sarah Green other than that she was well-read, well-travelled, and did most of her writing between the years 1808 and 1824. Romance Readers and Romance Writers (1810) is a satirical novel in which she sets out "to shew the effects of romance-reading on the weak and ductile mind of youth." Green's Quixotic young heroine, who avidly devours popular romances, especially those of the Gothic variety, begins by taking a more romantic name ("...Peggy? My name, sir, is Margaritta; and to no other name will I, hereafter, give an answer."). Her life is imbued with the aura of her favorite genre. She convinces herself, for example, that her uncle's country house is haunted because at night she hears noises "which proceeded from no other cause than what is very common in such old houses, which was an army of rats." In a witty and entertaining preface, Green critiques the work of a number of the popular romance writers of her day, beginning by pronouncing that "Romance proved favourable to the cause of gallantry and heroism during the dark ages, but we, thank heaven! live in more enlightened days."

eBook Publisher: InfoStrategist.com/InfoStrategist.com
Fictionwise Release Date: June 2004

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The bliss of man (could pride that blessing find),
Is not to act or think beyond mankind;
No pow'rs of body or of soul to share,
But what his nature and his state can bear.



Sincere, plain-hearted, hospitable, kind;
Yet, like the must'ring thunder when provok'd.



Slave to no sect, he takes no private road,
But looks through nature, up to nature's God.


"IT is very strange," said uncle Ralph, with evident impatience and vexation, as he threw down on the table with great force a romance of the last century, "that a writer must use so many words, only to tell us, that a woman got up and sat down again! No, they must inform us in high-flown, poetic language, that she rose from her mossy couch, and then thoughtfully reseated herself, and resumed her pensive posture! And then, if the wind happened to blow her thin clothes about, and made her ribbons flutter and fly, we must be entertained through half a page with her silken scarf floating in the wind and the rude zephyr discomposing her light and nymph-like attire!"

Uncle Charles, who had been studying the last orders of General Wolfe, and who had just brushed away a tear from off his veteran cheek, which the last exhortation of that renowned hero to his soldiers had drawn from his eye, shut the orderly-book, and smiled, 'midst his tears, at the ideas of his brother Ralph; while Edward, busy in reading a newspaper, laid it down and assented to Ralph's opinion by a half-stifled smile, and the word – humph! uttered so inwardly, that it sounded not much unlike the grunting of a pig!

But, in order to preserve some method, it is necessary to introduce this trio to our readers, and describe the sort of character which each of them (all originals in their kind) was possessed of.

The eldest brother, Mr. Ralph Marsham, was left in possession of a small paternal estate, comfortable, because clear and unincumbered; but income-tax, property-tax, and land-tax, had rendered him less rich than in the days of his youth: and a most valuable farm being attached to his estate, he resolved to superintend it himself, and indeed to work on it with the same indefatigable toil which his labourers bestowed upon it, in order to ensure to themselves the excellent and plentiful cheer, together with the ample wages which Mr. Marsham allowed them.

Gentlemen-farmers are but sorry tillers of land; and the master's watchful eyes, and even his assistance united, will not avail much, if he is not a thorough judge of that profession which is universally allowed to be the most happy and independent of any in the world.

But Ralph derived one advantage by his perseverance; he made labour easy and habitual to him, by boldly inuring himself to it; and continual and heavy losses, blights in his corn, diseases in his cattle, and the frauds of his serving-men, soon reduced him to that state which rendered exertion on his own part, and unwearied employment about his farm, an indispensible obligation.

He was endowed with a solidity of understanding, good, honest principles, but was rather a kind of every-day character; and was chiefly guided both in the pursuits of his studies, and all his most important actions, by mere matter of fact.

Copyright © 2004

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