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Stories
Violet Hamilton or the Talented Family and Lochandhu


I thought I'd introduce you to two stories from the 1840's.

The first is Violet Hamilton and is in fifteen parts and extracted from Tait's Edinburgh Magazine in pdf format.

Part 1  |  Part 2  | Part 3  |  Part 4  |  Part 5  |  Part 6  | Part 7  |  Part 8
Part 9  |  Part 10  |  Part 11  |  Part 12  |  Part 13  |  Part 14  |  Part 15

Tait's Edinburgh Magazine

Tait's Edinburgh Magazine was a monthly periodical founded in 1832. It was an important venue for liberal political views, as well as contemporary cultural and literary developments, in early-to-mid-nineteenth century Britain.

The magazine was founded by William Tait (1792–1864), the son of a builder and an inheritor of a large fortune. Tait was an "independent radical" in politics; he strongly favored the Whig party. 1832 was a time of great political ferment, with the first Reform Bill the dominant subject of discourse. Tait's periodical was intended as a "Radical riposte" to "the politically revanchist but culturally avant-garde Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine." Tait's welcomed many new and unknown writers like Robert Nicoll, as well as established voices like James Henry Leigh Hunt, and figures of future fame like Harriet Martineau and John Stuart Mill.

From 1833 on, Tait's Magazine was a regular venue for the essays of Thomas De Quincey. De Quincey's series of biographical essays on the Lake Poets (later collected as Recollections of the Lake Poets) were featured in Tait's between 1834 and 1840. Tait published a range of other selections by De Quincey, including, somewhat surprisingly, "A Tory's Account of Toryism, Whiggism and Radicalism" (December 1835, January 1836). That article, however, was supplied with many sarcastic footnotes disagreeing with its points — "objecting foot-notes from the pen, presumably, of Tait himself."

In 1834 Tait's Magazine was combined with Johnstone's Edinburgh Magazine, a liberal periodical started two years earlier by husband and wife John Johnstone and Christian Isobel Johnstone. She was an early feminist who wrote extensively for Tait's in the following years, becoming the magazine's "chief contributor and director" under William Tait himself. Christian Johnstone was "the first woman to serve as paid editor of a major Victorian periodical," to which she brought "fresh life and popularity." In the same year Alexander Bailey Richmond took the magazine's London agents to court, for reviewing a work calling Richmond a government spy: the defence was successful.

Christian Johnstone died in 1857; Tait's Magazine ceased publication in 1861.

I have found several copies of Tait's Edinburgh Magazine which I've listed below. Each volume averages around 800 pages.

Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 4
Volume 5
Volume 6
Volume 7
Volume 8
Volume 9
Volume 10
Volume 11
Volume 13
Volume 14
Volume 15
Volume 16
Volume 17
Volume 18
Volume 22
Volume 23
Volume 24
Volume 25
Volume 26
Volume 27

The second is Lochandhu and this is a 3 volume book...

"Loch-An-Eilan.
This lake is much embellished by an ancient castle standing on an island within it, and even yet entire, though roofless. As a Highland castle, it is of considerable dimensions, and the island being scarcely larger than its foundations, it appears to rise immediately out of the water. It would not be easy to imagine a wilder position than this, for a den of thieves and robbers, nor one more thoroughly romantic. It is more like the things of which we read in the novels of the Otranto School, than a scene of real life. If ever you should propose to rival the Author of Waverley in that line of art, I recommend you to choose part of your scene here. As I lay on its topmost tower, amid the universal silence, while the bright sun exalted the perfume from the woods around, and all the old world visions and romances seemed to flit about its grey and solitary ruins, I, too, felt as if I would have written a chapter that might hereafter be worthy the protection of Minerva—the Minerva of Leadenhall Street."

MacCulloch's Letters on the Highlands of Scotland.

Volume 1  |  Volume 2  |  Volume 3


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