Friday, September 27, 2013

E.D.E.N. Southworth in London

E.D.E.N. Southworth has been claiming my attention this summer. I revisited The Hidden Hand and, unexpectedly, was very happy to be able to use it for a chapter I was writing on highwayman Joseph Thompson Hare that should see the light of day at some point in 2014. Then, apropos of not very much except the need to scratch an itch, I got hold of a copy of E.D.E.N. Southworth: Recovering a Nineteenth-Century Popular Novelist (University of Tennessee Press), a great collection of essays edited by Melissa Homestead and Pamela Washington. What it revealed, amongst many other things, was how little I really knew about Southworth's extraordinary career, and how much of her work stills awaits recovery. Inspiring, and highly recommended.

During the course of these meanderings, I came across one particular surprise that I couldn't ignore: Southworth lived in London from 1859 to 1862. I knew that Southworth had been popular on this side of the Atlantic, of course, but I didn't know that she'd actually been a resident.