Walsh Colville: Or A Young Man’s First Entrance Into Life a Novella by Anna Maria Porter

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This critical edition coincides with the broader critical movement towards promoting a better understanding of the development of British literary fiction through women’s writing, an understanding that breaks free of the old story of ‘canonical writers and grand texts’. It contains an introductory study (biographical, wider historical and literary contexts), a short re-assessment of Porter’s writing and a more fully engaged re-assessment of the literary value of Walsh Colville.


“David Owen’s annotated edition offers precious new data both on the figure of Anna Maria Porter and on the socio-cultural context in which the novel was produced… [his] clean, reader-friendly annotations work so well not only because of the admirable job that he has done, but also because the text lends itself particularly well to an editorial work as solid as this. The work of an editor is to bring back the text to life in a scholarly manner, but without drowning it in erudition; and Owen is too clever an editor not to wear his erudition lightly.”
-Dr. Joan Curbet,
Professor of English Literature,
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

“Owen’s objectives are clearly outlined, competently achieved, and entirely appropriate. His editorial principles are sound, and the thoroughness of his research everywhere apparent. Owen’s analysis of Walsh Colville demonstrates his expertise in the field. It is well organized, highly readable, and tightly written.”
-Dr. Lesley Peterson,
Associate Professor,
University of North Alabama

“In his critical evaluation, Owen comments that the novel’s denouement has two different interpretations: one tediously moralistic, the other more lapsarian, and therefore human…Owen remarks that Walsh Colville is no neglected literary masterpiece. Rather… the novella’s merit lies in its value as a useful indicator of exactly how the novel of sentiment had declined into a weakened version of itself.”
-Dr. John Delli Carpini,
Author, Prayer as Poetry

“The storyline describes Colville’s courtship of the incredibly virtuous Frances, against the backdrop of London and his friendship with Stanhope…Porter shows an acute awareness that nothing destroys friendship more easily than jealously, unfounded jealousy, over a colleague’s love life.”
-Professor Andrew Monnickendam,
Department of English & German Studies,
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Table of Contents

Foreword by Andrew Monnickendam
1. A Note on Anna Maria Porter’s Life and Works
2. Literary Reputation & Critical Response
3. Walsh Colville: A Critical Assessment
Notes to the Introduction
Editorial Principles
List of Characters in the Novel
Walsh Colville
Notes to the Text
Appendix 1: Walsh Colville Editions;
Porter Collections
Appendix 2: Literary References in Walsh Colville
Appendix 3: Works by Anna Maria Porter
Appendix 4: Quire Markings, 1799 & 1833 Editions
Works Cited

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