Vardill in the United States

Author André-Marc Aymé has kindly drawn the Society’s attention to an early uncredited publication of Anna Jane Vardill’s Legends of Lampidosa in the United States.

  • The Legends of Lampidosa: Or the Seven Heroines. New York: W. H. Graham, 1844.

The stories had previously appeared in magazines such as:

  • The Atheneum, or, Spirit of the English Magazines. Boston, 1817
  • Robinson’s Magazine; A Repository of Original Papers; And Selections from the English Magazines. Baltimore: 1819.
  • Cabinet: A Collection of Romantic Tales; Embracing the Spirit of the English Magazines. New York: 1836.

M. Aymé has also identified references to AJV’s stories in a letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and a novel by John Neal.

In a letter to Evert A. Duyckinck dated 1st July 1845, Hawthorne writes:

A good many years ago, turning over a series of volumes called the “Athenaeum”—a selection from the English Magazines, published at Boston—I met with a series of stories called the Legends of Lampidosa. They struck me as very remarkable productions, quite a species by themselves. I do not know that they ever made any impression on the public; nor am I altogether sure that they would impress me, now, with any of the admiration which I felt then. But I wish you would look them over, and see whether they might no be profitably republished as a number of the Library of Choice Reading. It is twelve years, or more, since I saw them; and they were then of old date—published at least a dozen years before. If I recollect rightly, they were credited to the European Magazine.

In the second volume of Randolph, A Novel by the Author of Logan and Seventy-six (Baltimore, 1823. p. 58) “Edward Molton” in a letter to “George Stafford” comments:

Byron still perseveres; and so do several of your moderns, particularly Moore and Barry Cornwell; and all of ours, who, like Mr. Percival, are addicted, grossly, to Byron. By the way, you have a she poet among you, with a more brilliant plumage, and a finer song, by far, than any female that I ever heard of—and far superior to most of your males. She is the author of Legends of Lampidosa—and is called Mrs. Lehman, I believe.