The Mysterious Mrs Meeke
A Biographical and Bibliographical Study

Roberta Magnani

I

In his essay 'The English Novel in the Romantic Era', Peter Garside introduces the obscure and remarkably prolific figure of Mrs Meeke in the following terms:

Mary Meeke is almost as productive [as Scott] with 19 works in 70 volumes, all published between 1800 and 1823. Moreover, if four translated works by Meeke (in 13 volumes) are added, then her overall output exceeds Scott, the margin becoming wider still if seven novels of hers written before 1800 also enter into calculations. [1]

The acknowledgement of Mrs Meeke's exceptional productivity raises a number of problematic issues concerning her works and her life, especially as she appears to have published her novels under three different authorial guises, namely, 'Mrs Meeke', anonymously, or under the pseudonym 'Gabrielli'.  This report sets out to investigate the affinities and similarities among the three chains of writing produced under these different rubrics in order to assess the hypothesis of a unified authorship.  An attempt is also made to ascertain the real identity (or identities) of the author, while assessing  possible underlying motives that might have led to editorial and authorial choices. More particularly, by focusing on details such as full titles as on title pages, advertisements, and narrative patterns, this study aims to supply a base for further enquiries and research.Something Strange

A Biographical Survey
Various biographical dictionaries state that Mrs Meeke may have been married to the Reverend Francis Meeke, whose wife died in October 1816 at Johnson Hall, Staffordshire. [2] This hypothesis may be confirmed by the evidence given by C. H. and Thompson Cooper in Notes and Queries (3rd ser. 2 (July-Dec 1862), 229), where the clergyman is described as a scholar (B.A., Christ's College, Cambridge, 1773; M.A., 1776) who published a volume of poems in 1782. The possibility that Mary Meeke had access to her husband's library and a culturally stimulating environment may encourage the assumption that she was related to a well-read man. The author also seems to have founded her respectability upon her marital status rather than her own name, which is always concealed, as if her husband's social position could guarantee the moral and artistic value of her works more effectively than if they issued from the pen of an autonomous and independent female self. Indeed, her Christian name never appears on the title pages of her novels, and in an issue of Notes and Queries (2nd ser. 7 (Feb 1856), 133-34), where a certain 'H. M. T.' enquires about her real identity, she is referred to her simply as 'Mrs Meeke'.

   The author's range of reading is evidenced in her references to European writers, in particular to Miguel de Cervantes and his Don Quixote (1605), whose famous quest is compared to the hero's ambitious project in What Shall Be, Shall Be (item 26; I, 7). [3] In The Veiled Protectress (item 25; V, 236) Mrs Meeke also quotes from Madame de Cottin, the French author of the novel Elisabeth, ou les éxiles de Sibèrie which she translated in 1807. Meeke's activity as a translator from French and German involves an overall output of six works comprising correspondences, poems, and novels, and revealing her mastery over foreign languages and literatures. [4]In conclusion, despite her cultural and literary interests, and the Reverend Meeke's scholarly education, her husband's identity remains difficult to establish, and her biography is still incomplete and problematic.

The Threefold Authorship
Evidence of the link between fiction published as 'by Mrs Meeke' and works by Gabrielli is provided in a nineteenth-century document which testifies to the widespread acceptance of the pseudonymous nature of the 'Gabrielli' designation: that is, that 'Gabrielli' does in fact mean 'Mrs Meeke'. [5] Furthermore, advertisements and title pages constitute a cogent proof of the homogeneity of the three sets of fiction. Multiple instances of connection between these works can be found, yet some cases appear to be particularly significant and revealing. [6] Specifically, the novel Harcourt (item 7 in checklist below), published anonymously in 1799, constitutes the paradigmatic example of their convergence into a unique authorship. The relationship between this text and the novels published under the pseudonym Gabrielli is stated three times. Firstly, its full title states that it is 'by the Author of The Mysterious Wife [item 3]', which was published pseudonymously in 1797; moreover, Harcourt is advertised at the end of Volume 1 of Top of PageMysterious Husband (item 9) by Gabrielli, under 'Works by the Same Author'; and it appears in the title of the pseudonymous novel Stratagems Defeated (item 21), which is presented as 'by the Author of [.] Harcourt'. Secondly, Harcourt is also connected to the anonymous Anecdotes of the Altamont Family (item 8), within which an advertisement defines it as a 'Work by the Same Author'. Finally, in being signalled as the novelist who wrote Harcourt (item 7) at the end of Volume 2 of Which is the Man? (item 10), Mrs Meeke is revealed to be involved in this plural authorial chain. [7]

Harcourt     A further element indicating reciprocity and affinity can be found in the coincidence and reiteration of narrative patterns within the three authorial acknowledgements. Gothic tropes and didactic concerns are prevalent in and help characterise the repetitive and contrived plots of the whole body of Mrs Meeke's novels. The theme of the abandoned child, whose virtuous life and fine education are finally rewarded with the improvement or restoration of his rank, and his social and economic status, is reprocessed in a variety of shapes. For instance, in Stratagems Defeated (item 21), which was published as 'by Gabrielli' in 1811, the hero Edgar Mortimer, a remarkably clever and handsome young man, brought up by a despotic preceptor, finally marries a peeress. In the anonymous Harcourt (item 7), a similar motif is interwoven with the trope of the grand tour of Europe and the journey to exotic places. The reader is here presented with the improbable encounter of a merchant with his long-lost grandson and son, who has become a noble and whose merit and sufferings have been rewarded with a 'miraculous return'. In Ellesmere (item 6), Meeke diversifies this trope by introducing the figure of an orphan who, despite the discovery of his aristocratic origin, refuses to improve his social station, as this could not increase the complete happiness of his marriage. The device of an enigma involving origins, or a hidden identity whose final recognition builds up the narrative tension, is relevant to all the three chains of fiction, an element of mystery being explicitly highlighted in the titles (The Mysterious Wife and Mysterious Husband by Gabrielli, items 3 and 9; "There Is a Secret, Find It out!", item 19; The Veiled Protectress, or the Mysterious Mother, item 25, by Mrs Meeke; and the anonymous The Wonder of the Village, item 17). Similarly, the attention of the reader is attracted by means of an alluring reference to unusual and elaborate events (Something Strange, item 18, and Stratagems Defeated, item 21, by Gabrielli; the anonymous Something Odd!, item 16; and The Old Wife and Young Husband by Mrs Meeke, item 15).

     As a whole, analysis of the full range novels seems to substantiate the theory of a unified authorship, that is, a single individual underlying the three authorial descriptors. Accepting this, it is possible to confirm that fiction connected to Meeke exceeds the output of any other contemporary author, Sir Walter Scott included: her overall production consists of 26 novels in 95five volumes published between 1795 and 1823, exceeding Scott, who wrote 22 novels in 71 volumes during the first two decades of the nineteenth century. [8] Furthermore, if The Parent's Offering to a Good Child, Meeke's only book for children (in one volume), is added, and six translated works (in 18 volumes) also enter into calculation, her bibliography expands to 33 items in 114 volumes. As Figure 1 (below) displays, the predominant nomenclature found is Mrs Meeke, with 15 novels in 53volumes, plus one book of juvenile fiction in one volume, followed by Gabrielli with six novels in 24 volumes, with finally the anonymous fiction consisting of five novels in eighteen volumes.

Fig.1. Number of Novels and Juvenile Fiction Published under the Three Authorial Descriptors

Fig.1. Number of Novels and Juvenile Fiction Published under the Three Authorial Descriptors

Count St. Blancard     Having ascertained the likelihood that the same Mrs Meeke underlies the threefold authorship, one fundamental question remains unanswered: namely, what might be the editorial and authorial reasons that led the novelist to publish this work under three different names? The chief motive appears to be self-censorship and a need for protection against criticism. When Mrs Meeke published her first two novels, apparently using her own name, she received appreciative comments in contemporary reviews. The Count St Blancard (item 1) is described as an 'entertaining and well-connected story' in the Critical Review (2nd ser. 15 (Nov 1795), 342), and The Abbey of Clugny (item 2) is considered to be 'superior to its predecessor' by the Monthly Review (n.s. 19 (Apr 1796), 453). The same positive reception of her first works also characterises the reception of some subsequent publications. In particular, The Mysterious Wife (item 3), which inaugurated the Gabrielli set of fiction, was welcome as 'entertaining'; yet at the same time the excessive and unnecessary length of the plot is perhaps ominously hinted at: 'there are symptoms of a desire of prolonging the anxieties of the husband; merely to eke out four volumes'(Critical Review 2nd ser. 23 (June 1798), 232-33).Top of Page

     The criticism of the repetitiveness and the contrivance of the narrative patterns might well have encouraged the need to differentiate her novels through a multiple chain of writing, and it could be argued that this met for a time with a measure of success. [9]  The author herself seems aware of the 'danger of borrowing some of the expressions of our contemporary authors' (Independence by Gabrielli, item 11; I, 23). Although her fear of being accused of plagiarism is apparent, Meeke displays a specific knowledge of the taste of the public, and produces 'fashionable novels' (Literary Journal 3 (1 May 1804), 491, on Amazement by Mrs Meeke; item 13), especially under the Italianate pseudonym of 'Gabrielli', which was probably inspired by the outstanding success of Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), one of the masterpieces of Gothic fiction. [10] If the pseudonymous novels mainly indulge in Gothic tropes and intriguing plots, the 'Mrs'-pattern focuses on poetic justice and the celebration of morality, which endow her fiction with a didactic function. In Conscience (item 23), published under her own name in 1814, Meeke affirms that '[i]n real history, events are of a mixed nature, and often happen alike to the worthless and the deserving; but in works of fiction, we think vice ought to be punished, and virtue rewarded' (IV, 246). This dualistic approach discloses her anxieties as a female writer, whose acknowledgement as a credible artist was denied and obscured by a general disbelief in the aesthetic value of women's writing, and by a forced subservience to publishers that she records in Midnight Weddings (item 12; I, 2). 'Female scribblers', authors of 'stupid books', 'impudent female writer[s]': this is how women novelists are portrayed in The Old Wife and Young Husband by Mrs Meeke (item 15; III, 247 and 249).

     Meeke's consciousness of the rules of the print industry sustains the speculation that the threefold authorship may be an editorial strategy, or 'game' to avoid the increasing hostility of the reviewers towards 'over-productive' women novelists, and to renegotiate and appropriate the coercive rules of the market. Even if the connections and similarities within the three authorial threads of fiction and the author's concerns about women writers do permit us to identify the mysterious novelist with an individual female artist, it is still problematic to ascertain her real identity and 'proper name'. To give one example of the difficulties involved, is it plausible to argue that four of the 'second-rate' works of Reverend Meeke's wife were released posthumously? And if this is the case, we must ask: who had such an interest in publishing her work?

Lobenstein Village

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Notes
1.  Peter Garside, 'The English Novel in the Romantic Era', in The English Novel 1770–1829: A Bibliographical Survey of Prose Fiction Published in the British Isles, edd. Peter Garside, James Raven, and Rainer Schöwerling, 2 vols (Oxford: OUP, 2000), II, 64.

2.  The Dictionary of British and American Women Writers, vol. 116, British Romantic Writers 1789–1832, ed. Bradford K. Mudge (Detroit: Gale Research, 1992);  The Feminist Companion to Literature in English, edd. Virgina Blain et al. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990); The Oxford Guide to British Women Writers ed. Joanne Shattock (Oxford: OUP, 1993), and The Dictionary of National Biography all affirm that Mrs Meeke was perhaps the Revd Meeke's wife.

3.  The number of the item refers to the checklist of Mrs Meeke's original fiction at the end of this essay.

4.   For a checklist of Mrs. Meeke's translations, see the bibliography at the end of this essay.

5.  Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. 7 (Feb 1856), 133-34. The writer misspells Gabrielli: 'Mrs. Meeke, alias Gabrielle'.

6.  For a survey of the links between the three chains of writing, see also Montague Summers, A Gothic Bibliography ([1940]; London: The Fortune Press, 1969), pp. 47-48.

7.  In the Notes field of Section A of the Bibliography (checklist of Meeke's original fiction) of this study, all the connections among the three chains of writing are specified.

8.  Garside, et al., II, 64: table 4.

9.  Ibid., II, 65.

10. The Oxford Guide to British Women Writers states that the hypothesis that this pseudonym may be her maiden name, and thus indicate her Italian origins, is apparently groundless.

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II

Bibliography of the Works of Mrs Meeke

This bibliography includes all the works by Mary Meeke. Many of the items included in the checklist below have been viewed directly thanks to their presence in the Corvey Microfiche Edition (CME); when this has not been possible, the novels have been consulted at other libraries. Meeke's production has been divided into two sections: a bibliography of her original fiction, 1795-1825, and a list of her translations. A survey of works wrongly attributed to Meeke has also been included in order to clarify their authorship.

     Each entry lists the full title as on title page, followed by a line giving place of publication, publisher's imprint information, and year of publication. This is followed by details concerning volumes and pagination, plus format. After this the source of the copy examined is given, with CME number or library pressmark as appropriate. In the Notes field details are given selectively about material such as prefaces, dedications, further editions, translations into foreign languages, and (especially) advertisements. Comments are also supplied where links between different items are apparent. This, finally, followed is by quotations from all the reviews of Mrs Meeke's works: they represent the whole review, unless otherwise indicated (e.g. by ellipses).   

Abbreviations

Blakey Dorothy Blakey, The Minerva Press, 1790-1820 (London: Bibliographical Society, 1939).
BL British Library.
BLPC British Library Public Catalogue (online).
CME Corvey Microfiche Edition.
CtY Sterling Library, Yale University.
DNB Dictionary of National Biography (on CD-ROM).
ECB R. A. Peddie and Quintin Waddington (eds), The English Catalogue of Books, 1801-1836 (London, 1914; New York: Kraus Reprint, 1963).
English Novel Peter Garside, James Raven and Rainer Schöwerling (eds), The English Novel 1770-1829: A Bibliographical Survey of Prose Fiction Published in the British Isles, general eds. , 2 vols (Oxford: OUP, 2000).
FC Virginia Blain, Isobel Grundy, and Patricia Clements (eds), The Feminist Companion to Literature in English (London: Yale University Press, 1990).
n.d. not dated.
NSTC Nineteenth-Century Short-Title Catalogue [1801-70], 61 vols (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Avero Publications, 1984-95); CD-ROM (1996).
OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.
Oxford Guide Shattock, Joanne, The Oxford Guide to British Women Writers (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1993).
n.s.  new series.
unn. unnumbered.


A.  Mrs Meeke's Original Fiction, 1795-1825

Below is included the entire corpus of Mrs Meeke's original fiction, as already recorded in condensed form in The English Novel, 1770-1829: A Bibliographical Survey of Prose Fiction Published in the British Isles, edd. Peter Garside, James Raven and Rainer Schöwering, 2 vols (Oxford: OUP, 2000). The entries in this section have been divided into three main groups highlighted by different colours: black pertains to works by Mrs Meeke, teal signals works 'by Gabrielli', while red refers to works published anonymously.

  1. COUNT ST. BLANCARD, OR, THE PREJUDICED JUDGE, A NOVEL. IN THREE VOLUMES. BY MRS. MEEK [sic].
         London: Printed for William Lane, at the Minerva Press, Leadenhall-Street, 1795.
         I 211p, ill.; II 228p; III 210p. 12mo.
         BL Cup.403.i.6.
    Critical Review 2nd ser. 15 (Nov 1795), 342: 'This novel, we are informed in the concluding page, is a translation from the French. The story turns upon the prejudices of high birth,-prejudices which in France no longer exist [.] The Count of St Blancard is, in other respects, an entertaining and well-connected story, and may agreeably beguile a leisure hour.'
    Monthly Review  n.s 18 (Oct 1795), 228-29 [Charles Burney, jun.]: 'This work is avowedly a translation from the French. It is probably the labour of some industrious emigrée; as the French idiom predominates, and some errors of the press are discoverable. The story is well chosen, and is divested of the immorality, party, and levity, which are too frequently found in the lighter productions of French writers.-To those who seek amusement in tracing the former manners of France, we may recommend this little work. It may divert a solitary hour, without endangering youth or disgusting age.'

  2. THE ABBEY OF CLUGNY. A NOVEL. BY MRS. MEEKE, AUTHOR OF COUNT ST. BLANCARD. IN THREE VOLUMES.
          London: Printed for William Lane, at the Minerva-Press, Leadenhall-Street, 1796.
          I 218p; II 223p; III 199p. 12mo.
          BL C.122.e.30.
    Critical Review 2nd ser. 16 (Apr 1796), 473: 'The Abbey of Clugny, without having any claim to originality, is superior to the common class of novels.-The incidents are well connected and interesting,-the style, if not elegant, is unaffected,-many of the observations are sensible and judicious. The story is not broken in upon by tiresome and impertinent episodes, so common with inferior novelists, always tending to weaken, if not destroy, the effect of the principal action.'
    Monthly Review n.s. 19 (Apr 1796), 453 [Charles Burney, jun.]: 'This work is certainly far superior to its predecessor mentioned in the title: but the inaccuracies of the printer are too numerous not to demand loud reprehension [.] The story of this novel is told with ease and vivacity. Ghosts are in the fashion: and, as we were entertained by the spectre which haunts this sacred retirement, we cannot blame the fair writer for following the mode.'

  3. THE MYSTERIOUS WIFE. A NOVEL, IN FOUR VOLUMES. BY GABRIELLI.
          London: Printed for William Lane, at the Minerva-Press, Leadenhall-Street, 1797.
          I ii, 299p; II 280p; III 267; IV 299p. 12mo.
          Corvey CME 3-628-45085-3.
    Notes. Dedication to Mrs Arthur Young, signed by 'The Author'.
    Critical Review 2nd ser. 23 (June 1798), 232-33: 'The hero of this novel, Henry Westhorpe, meets a lady at the Spa, of whom he becomes enamoured, although he can procure no information respecting her. While he is almost despairing on this account, she sends him a letter informing him that he has won her heart, and that he may receive her hand on particular conditions. He is to remain with her a fortnight; they are then to separate; he is not to divulge his marriage or the name by which she was married, or desire to follow or see her, without her permission; and she is to gratify him with supplies of money. By the advice of a friend, he accepts this offer; and, after the marriage and limited cohabitation, they separate. The uneasiness and dangers occasioned by his passing as a bachelor, and his fruitless attempts to obtain a sight of his wife, form the incidents of the remaining volumes. If the reader should not be disgusted at this original absurdity, he will not be displeased to follow Henry through all his adventures. They are written in a very entertaining manner; and although there are symptoms of a desire of prolonging the anxieties of the husband; merely to eke out four volumes, yet we question whether many of the ordinary readers of novels will complain of the length. The portrait of Sir William Cleveland is not ill drawn. It is more natural than the characters of captain Grey and some other intruders upon the main story.'
    Monthly Mirror 6 (July 1798), 34: 'The main incident of this novel is highly improbable; but the strange conduct of the lady who submits to a marriage with a man who had become enamoured of her, provided that he will be satisfied with a fortnight's cohabitation, excites the reader's curiosity so forcibly, that he feels a perpetual irritation to get at the secret. The suspense is artfully managed, and, of course, the attention is kept alive to the end.'

  4. PALMIRA AND ERMANCE. A NOVEL, IN THREE VOLUMES. BY MRS. MEEKE, AUTHOR OF COUNT ST. BLANCARD.
          London: Printed for William Lane, at the Minerva-Press, Leadenhall-Street, 1797.
          I 248p; II 248p; III 255p. 12mo.
          Corvey CME 3-628-45129-9.
    Critical Review 2nd ser. 24 (Oct 1798), 236-37: 'Innocent entertainment, without any fixed purpose of the moral kind, appears to be the object of this novel. The characters, principally those of France under the old government, are drawn with spirit. The dialogue is lively; and the incidents of the first and second volumes are interesting. The character of a fop, partly on the English and partly on the French plan, is well sustained, and is exposed to just contempt. In the third volume the story is unnecessarily spun out; but, upon the whole, this is one of the most amusing of the second-rate novels.'

  5. THE SICILIAN. A NOVEL. IN FOUR VOLUMES. BY THE AUTHOR OF THE MYSTERIOUS WIFE.
          London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for William Lane, Leadenhall-Street, 1798.
          I 351p; II 344p; III 218p; IV 237p. 12mo.
          BL Cup.403.i.9.
    Notes. This novel is indirectly attributed to Gabrielli, since the title states: 'by the Author of The Mysterious Wife' (3) which latter is by Gabrielli. It is also advertised at the end of vol.1 of Mysterious Husband (9), published as by Gabrielli, under 'Works by the Same Author'.
    Critical Review 2nd ser. 25 (Feb 1799), 234: 'The author of this production discovers some ability in detailing the incidents, and draws some of his characters in natural and lively colours; but he wearies the reader by prolonging the work after the denouement has taken place, when no expectation remains to be gratified. The fourth volume is altogether useless.'

  6. ELLESMERE. A NOVEL. IN FOUR VOLUMES. BY MRS. MEEKE, AUTHOR OF THE ABBEY OF CLUGNY, COUNT ST. BLANCARD, &C.
          London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for William Lane, Leadenhall-Street, 1799.
          I 238p; II 260p; III 292p; IV 310p. 12mo.
          Corvey CME 3-628-45126-4.

  7. HARCOURT. A NOVEL. IN FOUR VOLUMES. BY THE AUTHOR OF THE MYSTERIOUS WIFE, &C.
          London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for William Lane, Leadenhall-Street, 1799.
          I 356p; II 338p; III 288p; IV 352p. 12mo.
          Corvey CME 3-628-45049-7.
    Notes. The attribution of this novel to 'the Author of The Mysterious Wife' (3), its advertisement at the end of vol.1 of Mysterious Husband (9), under 'Works by the Same Author', and the title page of Stratagems Defeated (21) ('by the Author of [.] Harcourt') identify the writer with Gabrielli, and, indirectly, with the anonymous author of The Sicilian (5). This novel is also advertised at the end of vol. 1 of Anecdotes of the Altamont Family (8), published anonymously, where it is referred to as a 'Work by the Same Author': the text of the review which appeared in CR is quoted as part of the advertisement. Furthermore, it is advertised as a work 'by the Same Author' at the end of vol. 2 of Which Is the Man? (10) by Mrs Meeke.
    Critical Review 2nd ser. 29 (May 1800), 116: 'The principal character is that of a spirited, generous, and virtuous young man, who, after appearing at first as an outcast, obtains great wealth, and the honours of Nobility.-The character of Sir Archibald Mackenzie and his wife are well drawn; the conversations introduced are lively and entertaining; and a degree of interest is excited by the narrative.'

  8. ANECDOTES OF THE ALTAMONT FAMILY. A NOVEL. IN FOUR VOLUMES BY THE AUTHOR OF THE SICILIAN, &C.
          London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for William Lane, Leadenhall-Street, 1800.
          I 250p; II 266p; III 306p; IV 365p. 12mo.
          Corvey CME 3-628-47059-5.
    Notes. This novel can be attributed to Mrs Meeke, as it is advertised at the end of vol.1 of Midnight Weddings (12), as a work 'by the Same Author', and the author of Which Is the man? (10) is defined as 'Author of Anecdotes of the Altamont Family' in the title page. It can also be linked to the anonymous author of The Sicilian (5), cited in the title. Moreover, it refers indirectly to Gabrielli, since The Sicilian and The Mysterious Wife (3), published as by Gabrielli, can be attributed to the same writer (cf. Notes to The Sicilian).

  9. MYSTERIOUS HUSBAND. A NOVEL. IN FOUR VOLUMES. BY GABRIELLI, AUTHOR OF THE MYSTERIOUS WIFE, &C. &C.
          London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for William Lane, Leadenhall-Street, 1801.
          I 286p; II 273p; III 297p; IV 298p. 12mo.
          Corvey CME 3-628-47882-0.
    Notes. French trans., 1804.
    Critical Review 2nd ser. 33 (Nov 1801), 353: 'In a series of events, both upon the continent and in England, is narrated the history of lord Clarencourt and his family; and it is related with sufficient interest to keep alive the curiosity of the reader. But the author has given countenance to a circumstance which deserves the severest reprehension-the elopement of the ladies Elmira and Idamia, at the suggestions of a stranger. Not content with making Tancred turn out, at last, a lord, as is the custom of modern story-tellers, our author outstrips them all, and dubs him a prince. But let not this good luck induce our fair young country-women to be guilty of the like indiscretion; for it is a thousand to one, that, instead of making them princesses, it would lead them towards the direct and almost certain road to infamy and ruin.'

  10. WHICH IS THE MAN? A NOVEL. IN FOUR VOLUMES. BY MRS. MEEKE, AUTHOR OF ANECDOTES OF THE ALTAMONT FAMILY, ELLESMERE, &C.
          London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for William Lane, Leadenhall-Street, 1801.
          I 275p, ill.; II 271p; III 288p; IV 256p. 12mo.
          Corvey CME 3-628-48052-3.
    Notes. The title of this novel indicates that the anonymous author of the novel Anecdotes of the Altamont Family (8) is Mrs Meeke ('Author of Anecdotes of the Altamont Family'). For indirect links with Gabrielli, see Anecdotes of the Altamont Family.
    Critical Review 2nd ser. 32 (Aug 1801), 469: 'If dukes and duchesses, marquisses and marchionesses, ever read books of this description, they will most likely vouchsafe to give an hour to the perusal of the present performance, because in it they will meet with but few personages of less consequence than themselves: and if any of them should have conceived that their elevated rank renders the study of English grammar beneath their notice, they will here also be accommodated in that particular. We are mortified to find the abodes of our youthful years deserving so bad a character.
         ' "Our public schools" says Mrs. Meeke, "are mere hot-beds for the encouragement of vice and dissipation, which flourish in still greater perfection at college; and as for the grand tour, why, half those who undertake it return greater fools than they set out".
         'If the author, in the multiplicity of her sapience, has struck out a plan to supersede this system of instruction, according to which we confess we had the misfortune to be educated, why, she ought to make it public, in pity to the rising generation.'Top of Page

  11. INDEPENDENCE. A NOVEL. IN FOUR VOLUMES. BY GABRIELLI, AUTHOR OF THE MYSTERIOUS HUSBAND, &C.
          London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for Lane and Newman, Leadenhall-Street, 1802.
          I 280p; II 237p; III 272p; IV 264p. 12mo.
          Corvey CME 3-628-47846-4.
    Critical Review 2nd ser. 37 (Feb 1803), 237: 'The principal circumstance in this novel is, that the hero acts, for a series of years, the mountebank, and then turns out to be a peer. The performance, in general, deserves as much praise as is due to most works of this nature; for the narrative is not without interest, though at times a little too prolix. If we were to find any fault, it would be, that Egbert Irwan had not been left as he was found; for he certainly is a superior genius, as a Flemish rope-dancer: but there is nothing worth commending about him, as a British marquis.'
    New Annual Register 23 (1802), 322: ' "Independence; by Gabrielli;" the hero of which is by turns mountebank, a rope-dancer, and an English peer, without any pretensions to the latter rank of society, or any pre-eminent dexterity for either of the former.'

  12. MIDNIGHT WEDDINGS. A NOVEL. IN THREE VOLUMES. BY MRS. MEEKE, AUTHOR OF ANECDOTES OF THE ALTAMONT FAMILY, ELLESMERE, &C. &C.
          London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for William Lane, Leadenhall-Street, 1802.
          I 297p; II 298p; III 319p. 12mo.
          Corvey CME 3-628-48209-7.
    Notes. Blakey (p. 335) refers to a 2nd edn of the novel published in 1814. OCLC 6933074 gives French trans., as Les mariages nocturnes, ou Octave et la famille Browning (Paris: Chez G. C. Hubert, 1820), 'par Mistriss Meek [sic], traduit de l'anglais sur la seconde édition'.

  13. AMAZEMENT. A NOVEL. IN THREE VOLUMES. BY MRS. MEEKE, AUTHOR OF ELLESMERE, MIDNIGHT WEDDINGS, &C.
          London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for Lane, Newman, and Co. Leadenhall-Street, 1804.
          I 276p; II 279p; III 274p. 12mo.
          Corvey CME 3-628-48206-2.
    Literary Journal 3 (1 May 1804), 491: 'We are indeed once a little amazed at several of our fashionable novels, but experience has taught us to be amazed at nothing. It was amazing how people could set down and write such amazing nonsense, and still more amazing that any body should read it This is a tedious story spun out in a lagging feeble style to three volumes, and the singularity of the title only adds to the disappointment at the dulness of the story. It is perhaps but justice, however, to say that this is not the worst of the kind, and if the authoress had confined the story to one third of its present size, it might have been tolerably interesting.'

  14. THE NINE DAYS' WONDER. A NOVEL. IN THREE VOLUMES. BY MRS. MEEKE, AUTHOR OF THE OLD WIFE AND YOUNG HUSBAND, AMAZEMENT, &C. &C.
          London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for Lane, Newman, and Co. Leadenhall-Street, 1804.
          I 284p; II 269p; III 251p. 12mo.
          Corvey (CME 3-628-48210-0).
    Imperial Review 3 (1804), 601: 'It is easy to predict, that this wonder will very soon be forgotten.'
    Literary Journal 4 (Oct 1804), 435: 'This is an indifferently good story wrought up in such a manner that it may be read with some interest. Though it abounds with common place remarks, and is not very elegant in point of style, yet some of the characters are well drawn and supported, and the work upon the whole may afford entertainment to those who delight in such compositions.'

  15. THE OLD WIFE AND YOUNG HUSBAND. A NOVEL. IN THREE VOLUMES. BY MRS. MEEKE, AUTHOR OF ELLESMERE, PALMIRA AND ERMANCE, &C.
          London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for Lane, Newman, and Co. Leadenhall-Street, 1804.
          I 264p; II 280p; III 277p. 12mo.
          Corvey CME 3-628-48211-9.
    Literary Journal 3 (16 May 1804), 550: 'This novel is written with more spirit than the generality of those that come from the same pen. The characters are for the most part well drawn, and the work contains nothing unnatural or repugnant to good morals.'

  16. SOMETHING ODD! A NOVEL. IN THREE VOLUMES.
          London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for Lane, Newman, and Co. Leadenhall-Street, 1804.
          I vii, 286p; II 273p; III 278p. 12mo.
          Corvey CME 3-628-48654-8.
    Notes. At the end of vol. 3 of this novel The Old Wife and Young Husband (15) by Mrs Meeke is advertised as 'BY THE SAME AUTHOR'. Something Odd! can thus be attributed to Mrs Meeke.
    Critical Review 3rd ser. 3 (Oct 1804), 238: 'It is 'something odd' that a man of talents, either from a plan not well matured, or abilities misdirected, should have failed so much in the conduct of the fable, as to render his work tedious, not withstanding some splendid passages and well-managed scenes. The whole is not very interesting. We catch a glance too early at the events; and the catastrophe is so hurried and indistinct, that at last we gain little more information than we had in the beginning. The character of Mr. Jacque, which at his first appearance is attractive, soon loses all its interest, from the subsequent events and the conclusion. ' Something odd' it certainly is: we wish we could style the work, something excellent.'
    Literary Journal 3 (1 May 1804), 491: 'The title of this book, is to be sure something odd, as is generally the case with those books which have nothing else to recommend them. But the story is not odd, for unfortunately dulness accompanied by pertness and profanity is in these days, far from being strange. Yet this stupid composition contains some reflections against religion, and this is the only advantage which it possesses, for the folly of the story must leave an impression in favour of every thing against which its wretch efforts are directed. This piece of dulness might on this principle therefore be recommended as an antidote, were it not too well ascertained that the readers of novels are in general no less silly than the writers.'
    Monthly Mirror 3 (Nov 1804), 320: 'Why a bad novel should be called "Something odd", is something strange; and unless this sorry work should meet with a good sale, any clear right to its present title will not appear.'

  17. THE WONDER OF THE VILLAGE. A NOVEL. IN THREE VOLUMES.
          London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for Lane, Newman, and Co. Leadenhall-Street, 1805.
          I 263p; II 222p; III 230p. 12mo.
          Corvey CME 3-628-48978-4.
    Notes. Introductory note (unn.) states: 'It is with gratitude we express our thanks to an unknown Correspondent for the outlines and plan on which this Novel has been formed. It was accompanied by a Note, signifying that they were found among the papers of a Lady deceased, whose Executors presented them gratuitously to the Proprietors of the Minerva Office'. The novel is attributed to Mrs Meeke in the title page of "There Is a Secret, Find It out!" (19): 'by Mrs. Meeke, Author of [.] Wonder of the Village'.

  18. SOMETHING STRANGE. A NOVEL. IN FOUR VOLUMES. BY GABRIELLI, AUTHOR OF THE MYSTERIOUS HUSBAND, INDEPENDENCE, &C. &C.
          London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for Lane, Newman, and Co. Leadenhall-Street, 1806.
          I 280p; II 324p; III 332p; IV 353p. 12mo.
          Corvey CME 3-628-47884-7.
    Literary Journal n.s. 2 (Aug 1806), 218: 'The person who chose this title seems to have understood the taste of the multitude. Let them have something strange, and they will never enquire whether it be in the smallest degree consonant to nature or common sense. Certainly there are some strange things here, and such as we can scarcely believe to have happened. But upon the whole, the work is better than we at first expected. It is written with some spirit and humour, and will not suffer by a comparison with most of the novels of the day.'

  19. "THERE IS A SECRET, FIND IT OUT!" A NOVEL. IN FOUR VOLUMES. BY MRS. MEEKE, AUTHOR OF AMAZEMENT, OLD WIFE AND YOUNG HUSBAND, WONDER OF THE VILLAGE, &C. &C.
          London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for Lane, Newman, and Co. Leadenhall-Street, 1808.
          I 330p; II 372p; III 384p; IV 379p. 12mo.
          Corvey CME 3-628-48018-3.

  20. LANGHTON PRIORY. A NOVEL. IN FOUR VOLUMES. BY GABRIELLI, AUTHOR OF MYSTERIOUS WIFE, MYSTERIOUS HUSBAND, &C. &C.
          London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for Lane, Newman, and Co. Leadenhall-Street, 1809.
          I 299p; II 316p; III 330p; IV 340p. 12mo.
          Corvey CME 3-628-47845-6.Top of Page

  21. STRATAGEMS DEFEATED. A NOVEL. IN FOUR VOLUMES. BY GABRIELLI, AUTHOR OF LANGHTON PRIORY; MYSTERIOUS WIFE; MYSTERIOUS HUSBAND; HARCOURT, &C.
          London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for A.K. Newman and Co. (Successors to Lane,
                Newman, & Co.) Leadenhall-Street, 1811.
          I 348p; II 379p; III 379p; IV 370p. 12mo.
          Corvey CME 3-628-47858-8.

  22. MATRIMONY, THE HEIGHT OF BLISS, OR THE EXTREME OF MYSERY. A NOVEL. IN FOUR VOLUMES. BY MRS. MEEKE, AUTHOR OF "THERE IS A SECRET," FIND IT OUT! OLD WIFE AND YOUNG HUSBAND, &C.
          London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for A.K. Newman and Co. Leadenhall-Street, 1812.
          I 240p; II 244p; III 240p; IV 264p. 12mo.
          Corvey CME 3-628-48264-X.

  23. CONSCIENCE. A NOVEL. IN FOUR VOLUMES. BY MRS. MEEKE, AUTHOR OF MATRIMONY, MIDNIGHT WEDDINGS, NINE DAYS' WONDER, THE TALE OF MYSTERY, &C. &C.
          London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for A.K. Newman and Co. Leadenhall-Street, 1814.
          I 312p; II 267p; III 264p; IV 247p. 12mo.
          Corvey CME 3-628-48207-0.
    Notes. The title of this novel refers to one of Meeke's translations, A Tale of Mystery (1803).

  24. THE SPANISH CAMPAIGN; OR THE JEW. A NOVEL. IN THREE VOLUMES. BY MRS. MEEKE, AUTHOR OF CONSCIENCE, MATRIMONY, MIDNIGHT WEDDINGS, NINE DAYS' WONDER, TALE OF MYSTERY, &C. &C.
          London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for A.K. Newman and Co. Leadenhall-Street, 1815.
          I 209p; II 202p; III 244p. 12mo.
          Corvey CME 3-628-48263-1.
    Notes. The title of this novel refers to one of Meeke's translations, A Tale of Mystery (1803).

  25. THE VEILED PROTECTRESS; OR, THE MYSTERIOUS MOTHER. A NOVEL. IN FIVE VOLUMES. BY MRS. MEEKE, AUTHOR OF MATRIMONY, NINE DAYS' WONDER, OLD WIFE AND YOUNG HUSBAND, SPANISH CAMPAIGN, CONSCIENCE, THERE IS A SECRET! ELLESMERE, &C. &C.
          London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for A.K. Newman and Co. Leadenhall-Street, 1819.
          I 257p; II 280p; III 263p; IV 240p; V 240p. 12mo.
          Corvey CME 3-628-47960-6.

  26. WHAT SHALL BE, SHALL BE. A NOVEL. IN FOUR VOLUMES. BY MRS. MEEKE, AUTHOR OF THE VEILED PROTECTRESS; OLD WIFE AND YOUNG HUSBAND; THERE IS A SECRET! FIND IT OUT; WHICH IS THE MAN? THE SPANISH CAMPAIGN, &C.
          London: Printed for A.K. Newman and Co. Leadenhall-Street, 1823.
          I 270p; II 315p; III 295p; IV 316p. 12mo.
          Corvey CME 3-628-48051-5.

  27. THE PARENT'S OFFERING TO A GOOD CHILD: A COLLECTION OF INTER[E]STING TALES. BY MRS. MEEKE. EMBELLISHED WITH FOURTEEN HANDSOMELY COLOURED ENGRAVINGS.
          London: Dean and Munday, Threadneedle Street and A.K. Newman and Co.,
                Leadenhall-Street, n.d.
          35p, ill. 12mo.
          BL 1608/2930.
    Notes. BLPC dates c.1825; FC mentions a posthumous children's story-book published in ?1825. OCLC 31426426 describes The birth-day present; or, Pleasing tales of amusement and instruction . by Mrs. Meeke' (London: A. K. Newman and Co., n.d.). Details of pagination and illustrations, however, indicate that this and the above item are probably variant version or different editions of the same text.
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B.  Mrs Meeke's Translations

Below are listed the translations by Mrs Meeke. An edition of every work has been viewed at the British Library in London, expect for Julien (3 in the checklist below) which has been examined in the Corvey Microfiche Edition (CME).

  1. A TALE OF MYSTERY, OR CELINA. A NOVEL. IN FOUR VOLUMES. ALTERED FORM THE FRENCH OF DUCRAY-DUMINIL, BY MRS. MEEKE, AUTHOR OF WHICH IS THE MAN, THE SICILIAN, &C. &C.
          London: Printed at the Minerva Press, for Lane and Newman, Leadenhall-Street, 1803.
          I 278p; II 323p; III 312p; IV 327p. 12mo.
          BL 1607/2020.
    Notes. Trans. of Colina, ou l'enfant du mystère (Paris, 1798), by François-Guillaume Ducray-Dumenil.

  2. LOBENSTEIN VILLAGE. A NOVEL. IN FOUR VOLUMES. TRANSLATED BY MRS. MEEKE, FROM THE FRENCH OF AUGUSTUS LA FONTAINE.
          London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for Lane and Newman, Leadenhall-Street, 1804.
          I 270p; II 292p; III 276p; IV 266p. 12mo.
          BL 1607/1867.
    Notes. Translation of Le Village de Lobenstein, ou le nouvel enfant trouvé (Genève et Paris, 1802), by August Heinrich Julius Lafontaine, itself a translation of the original German title, Theodor, oder Kultur und Humanität (Berlin, 1802).
    Literary Journal 3 (1 May 1804), 487-89: 'The abuse which the moralist has bestowed upon novels in general, has of late years been so often repeated by the critic, that this class of literature has fallen into disrepute. The modern novel, however, occupies a very considerable station in the field of literature; and some of our first writers have exerted their talents, laudably, in its composition. Whatever tends to sooth the mind when depressed, or to relieve attention, when wearied by intense application, deserves the gratitude of man. But the mob of writers yearly employed on this mode of composition, and the facility with which so many volumes of the most wretched trash are annually given to the public, have occasioned a strong prejudice against novels in general, which that species of composition, when undertaken by competent writers, is very far from deserving. To select from the crowd those deserving of attention, is an arduous task; and it is not to be wondered at, that some few deserving of a better fate are left wholly unnoticed.
         'The novel before us, however, possesses considerable merit, with frequent inequalities. The whole of the first volume deserves our praise with but little qualification. Mrs Meeke's translation, though in general good, has been made with too much haste; which the reader will discover in a variety of instances.
          'Augustus la Fontaine lays the principal scene of this novel at a village in Germany, and chuses the orphan, Theodore, as his hero. The characters introduced are few and simple. The Philosopher and scholar Lindner; his sister Sabina, who marries the eccentric Baron de Senk, whose whole attention is given to the construction of clocks; their son Augustus de Senk; Theodore the orphan, protected and educated by Lindner. In the same village, at the great manorial house, are the Baron, but principally the Baroness de Lindner, her lovely daughter Eloisa; the son and heir Emilius; his tutor Erast: an interesting stranger who purchases a small estate near Lindner, and calls himself Schall; and the bailiff of the village Gobel, an unprincipled miser, with an excellent daughter Mary. These form the leading characters; and are all drawn with much originality, and well preserved. The benevolence of Lindner, and his blind attachment for the ancients, are well contrasted with the mechanic genius of Senk.
          'The second volume, after the first 40 pages, falls off considerably, as if an inferior author had taken up the pen: it however rises again towards the close of that volume; and the narrative then proceeds with a considerable increase of interest and humour. In the beginning of the second volume, (page 28) Senk forms an admirable counterpart to the eccentric Darwin, in his Loves of the Plants: after a classical discussion between Lindner and Schall, the following conversation succeeds:
          ' "Senk, could however neither talk, nor think of anything else; and the following day, when he saw Schall, he reverted to this said clock of flowers, enquiring whether there had ever had been such a thing. "Undoubtedly," replied Schall, "for I have seen one." "Where, where? exclaimed the enraptured Senk. At the court of Buffon's, the famous French naturalist, and which keeps time to the greatest nicety;" entering into several details respecting this said uncommon time-piece, which induced Senk to hurry home to examine all the flowers his garden produced, when he found many which opened and shut at particular times; and has Schall had a great variety, he requested he would select any he thought would contribute to the completion of his time-piece. Senk was therefore busily employed for some time in transplanting and arranging his flowers, till he nearly brought his scheme to bear; though Lindner still gave the preference to his hour-glass, as it told him time of day without going out in the sun or rain. "But have you then no relish for the beauties of Nature?" said Senk, "only come and see my collection.-There," have reached the bed allotted to his time-piece, "There, I knew we should be here to a second; these sweet flowers will never deceive us respecting the time. This one opens precisely at noon; the next no less punctually at one; and so on till evening, though I shall not be able to bring my clock to perfection this year, but next summer it shall rival the Count de Buffon's."
          'The same idea is afterwards pursued with equal humour at page 117:-"Senk had by this time nearly completed his botanical clock, of which he was more proud than of many much more ingenious performances; the idea was so novel, he conceived, and so little understood, though by no means denoted the time of day so regularly as he could have wished. This afforded Lindner and Sabina an opportunity of rallying him, which, though meant, and dome in jest, frequently hurt his feelings, which were particularly alive to the most harmless attack upon any of his favourite pursuits. Frequently, therefore, would he tell Sabina, that she ought to rejoice at his having so succeeded in rendering even flowers of the greatest national utility; because if she wished to breakfast precisely at nine, she had only to examine the Spiral Goat's beard, which opened its leaves exactly at that hour. "That flower," he continued, "may be absolutely dependent upon even to a second-indeed I now even regulate all my clocks by it; and I have desired the clerk to consult it before he rings the bell for church. If I had but the trefoil-grass, which is a native of the South Sea Islands, and whose leaves have been remarked to wave precisely at twelve o'clock at noon, I should be quite set up. But do not fancy it is my partiality for every thing that bears any resemblance to clocks, that has rendered me so fond of flowers, as they are of the greatest utility in many other respects, besides denoting the time, which you must allow is no small merit; but the Jerusalem rose, for example, will tell you immediately whether a room is damp, and of course is of considerable utility to travellers; and when your brother pres out his eyes over his Greek authors, I have only to say, Lay by your books; such or such a plant, has closed its leaves, therefore evening approaches.-Of course, you must agree, Sabina, that it is almost necessary to study botany, which daily affords the naturalist the most interesting discoveries." " If it does but increase your pleasures, my dear Senk," interrupted Sabina, I shall be perfectly happy; and the first wish of my heart will be gratified; and since you say the spiral goat's-beard is so much to be depended upon, I will never in future sit down to breakfast without first asking it the time of day."
         'We admire the pleasant satire which these passages contain against one of the leading hobby horses of the day, both on the continent and in our own country. Our botanical enthusiasts have of late encreased rapidly, and trifled most ingeniously and poetically: and we have often wondered that a subject pregnant with so much humour, and aptness, has not been heightened by the pen of a Reynolds, or the genius of Charlotte Smith; whose knowledge of botany would enable her to form an excellent romance on the leading follies of our botanists.
          'The third and fourth volumes are by no means inferior to the first; though we observe the same faults and errors in the language of the translator. The unexpected deliverance of Mary Gobel from the cottage in Silesia, by Theodore, and the adjoining wildness of the forest scenery, are well described. The history of the mother of Theodore, occupies the greater portion of the fourth volume, and seems to be the part to which our author has paid his greatest attention.-Yet some of the sentiments savour of the French school; and both Julia and Eloisa de Rosbane, often astonished us with principles that could only be approved in the circles of Paris.'

  3. JULIEN; OR, MY FATHER'S HOUSE. A NOVEL, ALTERED FORM THE FRENCH OF DUCRAY-DUMINIL, BY MRS. MEEKE. IN FOUR VOLUMES. TO WHICH IS ADDED, ELIZABETH, OR THE EXILES OF SIBERIA, A TALE, FOUNDED ON FACTS, FROM THE FRENCH OF MADAME DE COTTIN.
         London: Lane, Newman, 1807.
         I 254p; II 287p; III 324p; IV 309p. 12mo.
         Corvey CME 3-628-48208-9.
    Notes. Trans. of Jules, ou le toit paternel (Paris: 1806), ), by François-Guillaume Ducray-Dumenil. Julien finishes on vol. 4, p. 41, and is followed by the translation of another work, by Sophie Ristaud Cottin, Élisabeth, which was published separately in the same year (see 5 below). The tale proper is preceded by 'The Author's Preface' (pp. [iii]-vi) and starts at p. [79].

  4. THE UNPUBLISHED CORRESPONDENCE OF MADAME DU DEFFAND, WITH D'ALEMBERT, MONTESQUIEU, THE PRESIDENT HENAULT, THE DUCHESS DU MAINE, MESDAMES DE STAAL, DE CHOISEUL, THE MARQUIS D'ARGENS, THE CHEVALIER D'AYDIE, &C. FOLLOWED BY THE LETTERS OF VOLTAIRE TO MADAME DU DEFFAND. TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL FRENCH, BY MRS. MEEKE. IN TWO VOLUMES.
         London: Printed at the Minerva Press, for A. K. Newman & Co., Leadenhall Street, 1810.
         I iii, 412p; II 368p. 8vo.
         BL 1454.i.9.
    Notes. Prefaced by 'The French Booksellers' Address to the Public' (pp. i-iii) and 'Historical details respecting Madame du Deffand' (pp. 5-20).

  5. ELIZABETH; OR, THE EXILES OF SIBERIA. A TALE, FOUNDED ON FACTS. FROM THE FRENCH OF MADAME DE COTTIN, BY MRS. MEEKE.
         London: Printed at the Minerva Press, for Lane, Newman, and Co. Leadenhall-Street, 1807.
         vi, 237p. 12mo.
         CtY Hfd29.602m.
    Notes. Trans.of Élisabeth, ou les exiles de Sibérie (Paris: 1806), by Sophie Ristaud Cottin. Multiple subsequent edns. Among these, BL 1507/344 carries the 1814 imprint of 'B. and R. Crosby and Co., Stationer's Court; Ludgate Hilll'.

  6. THE MESSIAH: FROM THE GERMAN OF KLOPSTOCK. THE FIRST SIXTEEN BOOKS BY MRS. COLLYER, AND THE THREE LAST BY MRS. MEEKE. TO WHICH IS PREFIXED, AN INTRODUCTION ON DIVINE POETRY. IN TWO VOLUMES.
         London: For J. Walker; J. Johnson and Co.; J. Richardson; R. Faulder and Son;
              F. C. and J. Rivington; Vernor, Hood, and Sharpe; R. Lea; J. Nunn; J. Cuthell;
              E. Jeffery; A. K. Newman and Co.; Lackington, Allen, and Co.; Longman, Hurst,
              Rees, Orme, and Brown; Cadell and Davies; Wilkie and Robinson; J. Booker;
              Black, Parry, and Kingsbury; Sherwood, Neely, and Jones; J. Asperne;
              R. Scholey; and J. Harris, 1811.
         I xii, 244p, ill.; II 328p., ill. 24mo.
         BL (11522.bb.5).
    Notes. Prose trans. of Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock’s Der Messiah, 4 vols (1748–73), originally written in verse, with the first part of the work translated into prose by Mary Collyer in 1763, and completed by her husband, Joseph Collyer. Each vol. contains frontispiece and engraved t.p., which reads ‘The Messiah, a Sacred Poem from the German of Klopstock’. Prefatory essay ‘On Divine Poetry’ occupies pp. [iii]–xii of vol. 1. The work is divided into nineteen ‘Books’, each of which is prefaced by a one-page ‘Argument’. The narrative proper concludes on vol. 2, p. 314, and is followed by an untitled note, which states: ‘In the original, there is another book; but even Klopstock himself has not numbered it, therefore he does not seem to include it in his poem, the action of which ceases here, as the concluding book is divided into different hymns, and into choruses of angels, who invite each other to sing. […] The principal merit of this concluding book consists in the variety of rhyme, and of the versification; and this would be wholly lost in a prose translation, which has but very feebly, in the foregoing four books, followed the original text.’ This is followed by ‘Explanatory Notes’ to Books XVI–XIX, occupying pp. [317]–328. Printer’s marks (versos of t.ps.) in both vols. and colophon in vol. 2 of Lane, Darling, & Co. Leadenhall Street. BL copy examined contains owner’s signature, ‘C. J. Ellwin’, dated 1839.
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C.  Spurious Works Attributed To Mrs Meeke

Below are listed spurious works attributed to Mrs Meeke (for which bibliographical details have not been recorded).

  1. MURRAY HOUSE. "A PLAIN UNVARNISHED TALE." IN THREE VOLUMES. BY MRS. PARSONS, AUTHOR OF ERRORS OF EDUCATION, WOMAN AS SHE SHOULD BE, MYSTERIOUS WARNING, GIRL OF THE MOUNTAIN, THE PEASANT OF ARDENNE FOREST, THE VALLEY OF ST. GOTHARD, THE MISER AND HIS FAMILY, MYSTERIOUS VISIT, &C &C.
         Brentford: Printed by and for P. Norbury, 1804.      
         CME 3-628-48398-0.
    Notes. Attributed to Mrs Meeke by DNB, ECB. English Novel 1804: 54 specifies that this novel is to be attributed to Eliza Parsons, as the title page explicitly acknowledges.

  2. ELLEN; THE HEIRESS OF THE CASTLE. IN THREE VOLUMES. BY MRS. PILKINGTON.
         London: Printed by E. Thomas, Golden-Lane, Barbican; for B. Crosby, and Co. Stationers'-
         Court, Ludgate Street, 1807.
         CME 3-628-48443-X.
    Notes. Attributed to Mrs Meeke by DNB and Oxford Guide. The title page attributes the novel to Mrs Pilkington, not to Mrs Meeke.

  3. THE MONKS AND THE ROBBERS; A TALE OF THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY. IN TWO VOLUMES.
         London: Printed for John Robinson, 25, Paternoster-Row, 1808.
         CME 3-628-48266-6.
    Notes. Attributed to Mrs Meeke by the Corvey Collection Catalogue (CME 3-628-48266-6).

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Copyright Information
This article is copyright © 2002 Centre for Editorial and Intertextual Research, and is the result of the independent labour of the scholar or scholars credited with authorship.  The material contained in this document may be freely distributed, as long as the origin of information used has been properly credited in the appropriate manner (e.g. through bibliographic citation, etc.).
      The matter contained within this article provides bibliographical information based on independent personal research by the contributor, and as such has not been subject to the peer-review process.

Referring to this Report
R. MAGNANI. ‘The Mysterious Mrs Meeke: A Biographical and Bibliographical Study’, Cardiff Corvey: Reading the Romantic Text 9 (Dec 2002). Online: Internet (date accessed): <http://www.cf.ac.uk/encap/romtext/reports/cc09_n04.html>.

Contributor Details
Roberta Magnani (BA Parma, MA Wales) is a Foreign Languages Assistant in the School of European Studies at Cardiff University. She is currently completing the first year of her doctoral research, which focuses on the editorial issues concerning Mediaeval texts.

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Last modified 25 January, 2006 .
This document is maintained by Anthony Mandal (Mandal@cf.ac.uk).