The Amelia Alderson Opie Archive
1820 Tales of the Heart
Monthly Magazine, 50 (Sept. 1820): 168.


Our celebrated novelist, Mrs. OPIE, has lately gratified the public by a new and very interesting publication, entitled, Tales of the Heart, in four volumes.  They consist of numerous stories, both fanciful and historical, characterised throughout by the same pathetic powers of sentiment and description, which exercise so strong an influence over the feelings in most of the former productions, which are so deservedly appreciated and felt by almost all manner of readers.  Delicate and touching, however, as many of these traits of the heart undoubtedly are, we do not think there is any single tale which we could point out, equal in depth of interest and heart-rending power – to the simple but sublime delineation of passions, exhibited in that of “The Father and Daughter;” which rivals the happiest efforts of Mrs. Inchbald, and those of the first of the school to which she gave birth.  In this power of dramatic effect, wrought out of the most simple materials, Mrs. Opie’s genius is peculiar and inimitable.  Among the most pleasing and delightful which the present volumes contain, we notice The Two Sons, a Woman’s Love, the Opposite Neighbour, and perhaps, Benevolence and Selfishness, may be added.  Though we do not perceive any visible superiority in the progressive writings of this lady, compared with her more early ones, yet, they are always such as to merit our approbation.


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