Haps and Mishaps Review, London Athenaeum, Nov 18, 1854

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Haps and Mishaps Review, London Athenaeum, Nov 18, 1854


Lippincott, Sara Jane (pseudonym: Grace Greenwood), 1832-1904
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The reviewer belittles Greenwood's admiring accounts of well-known people in her Haps and Mishaps of a Tour in Europe. The author criticizes her for misinterpreting certain conversations.


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[...] "Grace Greenwood," if a less conspicuous, is not a less peremptory adorer of England and the English--and of everything that England and the English have taken into favour. Her adoration, we dare say, is quite sincere; we wish we could add, that it is expressed with the modesty which becomes sincere feeling. But the truth must be told:--"Grace Greenwood" is not modest in her admiration. The reader shall judge for himself at once. [...]
Poets lead to politics. Mr. Cobden gives "Grace Greenwood" tea--and Grace Greenwood pays Mr. Cobden back with her usual coinage of admiration. [...] We hope Mr. Cobden is satisfied. Mr. Disraeli gives "Grace Greenwood" nothing; and he is told to his face--with a variation of the humour for once--that "his face bears no high character, but is cold, politic, subtle in expression." Mr. Hume "is a fine specimen of a true-souled man,"--whatever that may mean--and the Duchess of Sutherland is "the most magnificent of matrons." Here, again, we have admiration poured upon us in a summer shower. [...]
"Grace Greenwood" does not see that in this last instance Mr. Carlyle is quizzing--as his humour is, in such a presence. Satire, however, is a relief after so much silliness. What Mr. Dickens may think of the above exhibition of himself, his family and house we will not pretend to know,--and he himself can say, if he chooses. How Mr. Dickens's guests may like their share in the exhibition the reader will readily surmise. Simple English folks, who do not care to see themselves flaunting in print in such a fashion--though anxious to show all proper courtesy to the representatives of America in England--are hereby made aware at what a price they may receive into their houses the wandering sisterhood of the quill from America.


Hathi Trust, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/njp.32101077276333. Accessed 16 Aug 2021.


London, UK

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“A British reviewer in the London Athenaeum takes a more sceptical view of Greenwood's 'enthusiasm', however, which he claims has been spread so thin in the course of her travels in Europe that it has been devalued as a 'coinage of admiration' When Greenwood barrels into the homes of British dignitaries, the reviewer contends, she does not get the joke (in conversation with Carlyle) and turns eminent authors into an 'exhibition' for her American reader (at dinner with Dickens). She represents a new class of female writers, 'the wandering sisterhood of the quill from America', who are at once professionally bold and entirely unprofessional in their tactics.” (Eckel 132)

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“Haps and Mishaps Review, London Athenaeum, Nov 18, 1854,” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed June 16, 2024, https://archivalgossip.com/collection/items/show/807.

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