1798 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Clara Reeve

David Rivers, Literary Memoirs of Living Authors (1798) 2:188-89.



A literary lady of much ingenuity, resident in Ipswich in Suffolk. Her first publication was a Translation from the Latin of the fine old romance, Barclay's Argenis, which made its appearance in 1772, in four duodecimo volumes, under the title, The Phoenix; or, the History of Polyarchus and Argenis. She next wrote the Champion of Virtue, a Gothic story, which was published in 1777; and was republished in the following year, under the title it has ever since retained, viz. The Old English Baron. Mrs. Reeve has, since that time, written the two Mentors, a modern story; The Progress of Romance through Times, Countries, and Manners, in a course of interesting and well-written evening conversations; The Exile, or Memoirs of the Count de Cronstadt, the principal incidents of which are borrowed from a novel by M. D'Arnaud; the School for Widows, a novel; Plans of Education, with remarks on the system of other writers, in a duodecimo volume; and Memoirs of Sir Roger de Clarendon, a natural Son of Edward the Black Prince, with Anecdotes of many other eminent persons of the fourteenth century, in three duodecimo volumes. It is hardly necessary for us to add, concerning a writer so well known as Mrs. Reeve, that her works discover her to have cultivated useful knowledge with considerable success, and to have applied that knowledge with less frivolity than is frequently the case with female authors.