The Amelia Alderson Opie Archive
1805 Adeline Mowbray; or, the Mother and Daughter
The Lady’s Monthly Museum, 15 (September 1805): 198-9.


Many productions of the present author are well known, not only to us, but to the public. Of the present, we shall speak with all the impartiality that mortal critics can muster in such cases. The story of this novel may be thus briefly comprised. Adeline, naturally amiable, but neglected in early life, becomes tinctured with the principles of modern philosophy, principles which seem to be rapidly sinking to the oblivion they so well deserve; of these, contempt of marriage is one of the most prominent, and Adeline forms a compact with herself never to marry; - thus, neither vicious nor depraved, by uniting herself to Glenmurray, by whose [199] writings she had been deceived, or, as she states it, convinced, she subjects herself to the imputation of vice and depravity. From the consequent difficulties of such a situation the main interest arises. Glenmurray, less obstinately attached to his opinion, and far more reasonable in his requests, constantly, though vainly, solicits her to give him the title of a legal protector; but she acts from conviction, she pleads his own arguments, and finally compels him to desist.

Glenmurray declines in health, and on his death-bed obtains from Adeline something like a promise to marry his relation, who had given proofs of a sincere and virtuous attachment. Finding herself still pursued by ignominy and disgrace, she makes all the atonement in her power, by acknowledging her mistake, and reluctantly consents to become the wife of Berrendale, whose ardour of affection soon subsides, and who at last deserts her with circumstances of aggravated cruelty and injustice. Broken down by sorrow and affliction, she retires to her native place, obtains a reconciliation with her mother, and dies shortly after, when the history is abruptly concluded.


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