1826 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Anna Brownell Jameson

Anonymous, in Review of Jameson, Diary of an Ennuyee; New Monthly Magazine NS 18 (April 1826) 141.



The talents of our fair authoress seem admirably adapted for this description of journalizing; she is exceedingly amusing in her sketches of the manners of the people, of the public picture galleries of Paris, Florence, Rome, &c. (of which, indeed, she seems to speak with all the knowledge of an artist), and of the absurd and comic superstitions of the Papal church, especially of its ceremonies on saints' days; and we cannot but feel greatly privileged by the candour with which she has allowed us to read her undisguised thoughts, and to participate in all the secret anecdote and chit-chat, which she has picked up in her travels, touching several remarkable characters, English and Foreign, who are n ow, or have lately been, residents on the Continent. To this attraction the fair Journalist has added, here and there, some very sparkling little stories, or Novellettes. — A lady's diary! why there is no reading in the world half so piquant. We only wish that one or two handsome bas-bleus, whom we could easily name, would follow the laudable example of the fair, and, as we must fain believe, beautiful, Ennuyee (for we cannot even guess who she is), and allow us a glance into those mysterious morocco-bound and silver-locked repositories of their thoughts and feelings. We should then no longer echo the aspiration of Gray, the poet, about Marivaux and Crebillon, but ejaculate from the bottom of our hearts, "Be our's to read eternal Albums of the Fair!"