Thursday, August 11, 2005

How the novelist found a husband

Jane Loudon wrote one of the popular gothic novels of the early 19th century, "The Mummy!". I find this below rather charming, especially as they seem to have had a happy marriage.

"Like Mary Shelley, Jane Loudon did not, at the time when she produced her most famous work, bear the name by which she would later become better known. She was born Jane Webb; her father, Thomas Webb, was initially wealthy, but fell on hard times, which appears to have provided the initial stimulus for his daughter to write. (Her particular choice of topic was no doubt influenced by the great interest in Egypt generated by the Napoleonic campaigns there.)

She did not, however, have a long literary career, for her imagined invention in The Mummy! of a mechanical milking machine attracted the attention of the agricultural and horticultural writer John Claudius Loudon, who requested an introduction and subsequently proposed to her, after which she concentrated entirely on gardening, publishing a number of books with titles like The Ladies’ Flower Garden. Apart from The Mummy!, her only other work of fiction was Stories of a Bride, published in 1829.

More at

And more to come about those gothic novels and the reviews of them.

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