The Romance of Real Life: Sarah Wilkinson

  • Franz J. Potter


In 1803, a curious account was appended to a short Gothic tale that appeared in the Tell-Tale Magazine; it was published anonymously and narrated the distressing and dismal ‘Life of an Authoress, Written by Herself’. It was published as a

warning [to] every indigent woman, who is troubled with the itch of scribbling, to beware of my unhappy fate… and beg her to take this advice; that, whatever share of learning or wit she may have, if she has nothing better to recommend her to public favour, she must be content to hunger and thirst all her days in a garret, as I have done.1


Real Life Book Trade Indigent Woman Forced Marriage Periodical Publication 
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  1. 10.
    Wilkinson, Sarah, The Eve of St. Mark; or, The Mysterious Spectre (London: J. Bailey, 1820), p. 5. Further references to this tale are given after quotations in the text.Google Scholar
  2. 13.
    Wilkinson, Sarah, The Fugitive Countess; or, The Convent of St. Ursula. A Romance (London: J.F. Hughes, 1807), vol. 1: pp. 1–2. Further references to this novel are given after quotations in the text.Google Scholar
  3. 14.
    Lewis, Matthew, The Monk (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1973; Repr. 1991), pp. 315–316.Google Scholar
  4. 15.
    Parreaux, Andre, The Publication of The Monk: A Literary Event 1796–1798 (Paris: Librairie Marcel Didier, 1960), pp. 51–53.Google Scholar
  5. 17.
    Wilkinson, Sarah, Albert of Werdendorff; or, The Midnight Embrace. A Romance from the German. To which is added, the Dangers of Pleasure (Newcastle: Printed by Angus & Son, 1812), p. 2.Google Scholar

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© Franz J. Potter 2005

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  • Franz J. Potter

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