Alone Together All the Way
Amelia Alderson Opie's Life Journey from Self to Self


1   I point to Cecilia Brightwell, Memorials of the Life of Amelia Opie, 2nd ed., (Norwich, 1854) and Memoir of Amelia Opie (London, 1855), and chapters in Ann-Isabella Thackeray Ritchie, A Book of Sibyls (London, 1883), Catherine J. Hamilton, Women Writers: Their Works and Ways (London, 1892), and Gertrude Townshend Mayer, Women of Letters (London, 1894). ^ up

2   I am thinking of Margaret Eliot MacGregor, "Amelia Alderson Opie: Worldling and Friend," Smith College Studies in Modern Languages 14 (1932-33) and Jacobine Menzies-Wilson and Helen Lloyd, Amelia, The Tale of a Plain Friend (London: Oxford UP, 1937) and chapters in Clara H. Whitmore, Woman's Work in English Fiction: From the Restoration to the Mid-Victorian Period (London: Knickerbocker, 1910), Ada Earland, John Opie and His Circle (London: Hutchinson, 1911), Allene Gregory, The French Revolution and the English Novel (New York: Knickerbocker, 1915), and Lucy Poate Stebbins, True Tales of the Eighteenth Century (New York: Columbia UP, 1952). ^ up

3   Amelia Opie, Adeline Mowbray; or, the Mother and Daughter, Ed. Gina Luria, (New York: Garland, 1974). ^ up

4   I am referring to Gary Kelly, "Discharging Debts: The Moral Economy of Amelia Opie's Fiction," The Wordsworth Circle 11 (1980) and "Amelia Opie, Lady Caroline Lamb, and Maria Edgeworth: Official and Unofficial Ideology," Ariel 12 (1981), Dale Spender, Mothers of the Novel (London: Pandora, 1986), Claudia Johnson, Jane Austen: Women, Politics, and the Novel (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1988), Eleanor Ty, Unsex'd Revolutionaries (Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1993), and Roxanne Eberle, "Amelia Opie's Adeline Mowbray: Diverting the Libertine Gaze; or, The Vindication of a Fallen Woman," Studies in the Novel 26 (1994). ^ up

5   I am thinking particularly of Janet Todd, A Dictionary of British and American Writers 1660-1800 (Totowa: Rowman, 1985). ^ up

6   Here I think of Spender. ^ up

7   I refer to Kelly, Johnson, Ty, and Eberle. See also Mary Poovey, The Proper Lady and the Woman Writer (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1984). Poovey has argued most persuasively the point that the eighteenth-century ideology of feminine propriety drastically limits women's opportunities of self-expression. Women who write must "express themselves in a code capable of being read in two ways: as acquiescence to the norm and as departure from it" (41). A woman writer who wants to express her radical ideas must couch them in suitably proper — that is, generally, self-effacing, domestic, and moral — terms. Some critics situate Opie in this scheme. ^ up

8   Brightwell, Memoir, pp. 95-6. ^ up

9   Ibid., p. 5. ^ up

10   Gary Kelly, The English Jacobin Novel 1780-1805 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1976), p. 5. ^ up

11   Menzies-Wilson and Lloyd, p. 28. ^ up

12   Ibid., p. 26. ^ up

13   Earland, pp. 169-70. ^ up

14   MacGregor, p 19. ^ up

15   Gregory, p. 89. ^ up

16   Quoted in Kelly, EJN, p. 15. ^ up

17   See Kelly's The English Jacobin Novel 1780-1805. ^ up

18   Ibid., p. 10. ^ up

19   Jane Spencer, The Rise of the Woman Novelist (Oxford: Blackwell, 1986), p. 142. ^ up

20   Menzies-Wilson and Lloyd, p. 37. ^ up

21   Eberle, p. 126. ^ up

22   Earland, p. 149. ^ up

23   Brightwell, Memorials, p. 69. ^ up

24   See MacGregor, p. 33. I refer to Ferdinando Paer's 1824 opera L'Agnese with an Italian libretto by Luigi Buonavoglia, Marie Therese Kemble's five act comedy Smiles and Tears; or The Widow's Stratagem (performed at the Theatre-Royal, Covent Garden, Tuesday, December 12, 1815), and William Thomas Moncrieff's 1828 three act "domestic melodrama" The Lear of Private Life!; or, Father and Daughter. The Father and Daughter was not Mrs. Opie's only work to be dramatized. Thomas Dibdin based a two-act melodrama The Ruffian Boy on Mrs. Opie's tale of the same title sometime in the early decades of the nineteenth century. And in 1810 Isaac Pocock brought forth a two-act melodrama Twenty Years ago! (with music by Thomas Welsh) based on Mrs. Opie's tale Love and Duty. ^ up

25   Quoted in Earland, p. 157. ^ up

26   Brightwell, Memorials, p. 175. ^ up

27   Walter Scott, "Charlotte Smith," Sir Walter Scott On Novelists and Fiction, Ed. Ioan Williams, (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1968), p. 190. ^ up

28   MacGregor, p. 65. ^ up

29   Ibid., p. 87. ^ up

30   The following extract from Amelia Opie's journal is quoted in Brightwell, Memoir, pp. 48-57. There is evidence that Brightwell has damaged and destroyed many of Opie's manuscripts. She also carefully excised her journals and letters for publication. In Memoir, published by the Religious Tract Society, Brightwell notes in her preface that she wishes to preserve Opie's "sterling character" and "the soundness of her views." I mention this to point out that the journal entries within Memoir, which I extract here, have been extensively edited by Brightwell. The ellipses within this extract are Brightwell's. Where I have excised Brightwell's analysis of the journal, I use asterisks: "* * *". Because of Brightwell's frequent (lengthy) interruptions, the continuity of the journal is disturbed. In Brightwell's text it is impossible to guess when the early entries, marked "4th day," "14th," "25th," etc. were written. Some of Opie's earlier diaries are in collections in England, but I can find no record of this journal still existing. Therefore, not able to consult a manuscript form, and rather than try to guess at the correct chronology of the entries, I reproduce it here as Brightwell did. ^ up

31   Walter Scott, The Letters of Sir Walter Scott (1823-1825, vol. 8), Ed. H. J. C. Grierson, (London: Constable, 1935), p. 307. ^ up

32   Ibid., p. 306 note. ^ up

33   Quoted in Brightwell, Memoir, pp. 74-5. ^ up

34   Quoted in Earland, p. 125. ^ up

35   Quoted in MacGregor, p. 20. ^ up

36   Quoted in Earland, p. 125. ^ up

37   Ibid., p. 146. ^ up

38   Ibid., p. 145. ^ up

39   Brightwell, Memoir, p. 96. ^ up

40   Ibid., p. 54. ^ up

41   Whist was a popular game "played (ordinarily) by four persons, of whom each two sitting opposite each other are partners, with a pack of 52 cards, which are dealt face downwards to the players in rotation, so that each has a hand of 13 cards"; quadrille, "played by four persons with forty cards, the eights, nines, and tens of the ordinary pack being discarded," was equally popular. She may have kept score or gambled with fish-shaped pieces of ivory or bone. On a good night she might have brought several fish home. ^ up

42   Ibid., "Carmelite." ^ up

43   Earland, p. 161. ^ up

44   Ibid., p.130. ^ up

45   Gregory, p. 205. ^ up

46   Ritchie, p. 189. ^ up

47   Gregory, p. 206. ^ up

48   Amelia Opie, Opie Mss. Collection, University of Rochester. ^ up

49   Ibid. ^ up

50   Brightwell, Memoir, p. 73. ^ up

51   Samuel Rutherford, The Letters of Samuel Rutherford: A Selection (London: Banner of Truth, 1973), pp. 13-14. ^ up

52   Anna Letitia Barbauld, The Poems of Anna Letitia Barbauld, Eds. William McCarthy and Elizabeth Kraft (Athens: U of Georgia P, 1994), pp. 58-9. ^ up

53   Felicia Dorothea Hemans, "Night-Blowing Flowers," Romantic Period Verse, Ed. Jerome J. McGann (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1994), pp. 714-5. ^ up

54   Quoted in Menzies-Wilson and Lloyd, p. v. ^ up

55   Brightwell, Memorials, p. 41. ^ up

56   MacGregor, p. 22. ^ up

57   Mary Wollstonecraft, Collected Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft, Ed. Ralph Wardle (Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1979), pp. 389-90. ^ up

58   Review of Adeline Mowbray, The Monthly Review 51 (1806), pp. 320-21. ^ up

59   Review of Adeline Mowbray, The Critical Review 4 (1805), pp. 219-20. ^ up