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2002 articles 1997 articles

An unrecognized novelist: Frances Jacson (1754-1842)

Joan Percy

Abstract

ACCORDING to its General Catalogue the British Library possesses among its holdings of late eighteenth-century/early nineteenth-century novels seven by the minor writer Alethea Lewis. On their acquisition they were entered by title only as of uncertain authorship, but subsequently all were attributed to her. In reality, Alethea Lewis is the author of just two, Vicissitudes in Genteel Life (1794) and The Microcosm (1801)/ the other five being the work of Frances Jacson (fig. i), a writer of much greater merit. It is the purpose of this paper to re-establish her as a novelist, to provide a biographical setting and to give some assessment of her achievement, particularly in relation to Mrs Lewis.

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