The Amelia Alderson Opie Archive
1818 New Tales
Monthly Magazine, 46 (Sept. 1818): 158.


Four entertaining volumes, under the title of New Tales, by Mrs. OPIE, will prove a welcome addition to the stock of that species of writing, for which this lady’s talents are peculiarly adapted; and for which we know no better name than Novellettes.  The requisite genius for the production of a superior novel, in three or four volumes, does not appear to belong to Mrs. Opie; at least, if we are to judge from such specimens as her “Valentine’s Eve,” or “Temper.”  The invention and gradual disclosure of a well-arranged and interesting plot; the delineation of characters natural, yet striking, skillfully contrasted, and sustained in true keeping through a succession of various scenes, which scenes shall at once carry on the story, and exhibit new, yet just, pictures of society and manners; these are tasks to which few, indeed, are equal.  If, however, in the Novellettes of Mrs. Opie we do not recognise the finished pictureof the patient master, we are pleased with sketches of manners and outlines of characters, which, as such, are masterly, and which cannot fail to improve, as well as amuse, the minds of her readers.  Of the present collection, we particularly admire “Mrs. Arlington,” for its originality; and “Henry Woodville” has strong marks of the same pencil which produced the pathetic tale of the “Father and Daughter”.


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