The Amelia Alderson Opie Archive
1834 Lays for the Dead
New Monthly Magazine and Literary Journal, 41, CLXIII (July 1834): 376.


The name of Amelia Opie acts as a talisman upon our memory, it calls back the time when we read her “Simple Tales,” and we wept over her “Father and Daughter,” – when we repeated her verses, and treasured her books under our pillows.  Yet here she is tuning her harp to sweetest melody, though to a mournful story – one to which there is a chord to respond in every heart; for who is there that cannot number amid the dead those whom long they loved?  This alone, without Mrs. Opie’s name, would ensure popularity for this beautiful little volume.  Those who can enjoy and cultivate the best affections of the head and heart will often turn over these simple pages, and pay the tribute of their admiration by their tears.

            We have heard that the Standard Novels, so long in publication, are nearly concluded; and we have been looking in vain for the name of Opie amongst those celebrated women whose works have already appeared in the series.  Why was this? And why were her tales, so excellent in moral, so charming in execution, omitted?  No female library can be considered complete without her works.  We have felt the days of our youth return when we again saw her name before us.


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