Jerdan had sailed through the choppy seas of Westmacott’s vilification of himself and his journal, but now he faced a greater challenge. After all the flattering and not-so-flattering imitators of the Literary Gazette which had appeared and disappeared over the course of nearly ten years, another now arrived on the scene. This one was to prove impossible to dislodge, and was eventually to topple the Literary Gazette from its pedestal. One of its chief weapons was the resuscitation of the old complaint against Jerdan, that of ‘puffing’.
The Athenæum was started by James Silk Buckingham in 1828, in equal partnership with the ubiquitous Henry Colburn. Jerdan’s recollection of the circumstances surrounding Colburn’s interest in the new periodical was that Colburn was so offended by the Literary Gazette’s impartiality in reviewing books produced under his imprint that he supported the Athenæum at the expense of his interest in Jerdan’s Gazette. Colburn’s own words confirm this. He wrote to Jerdan and Longmans on 31 December 1827:
As my partners in the Literary Gazette I think it is right to apprise you that I have joined Mr Buckingham in the new literary journal, the Athenæum. I have determined in adopting this step in consequence of the injustice done to my authors generally (who are on the liberal side) by the Literary Gazette. I cannot any longer consent to see my best authors unfairly reviewed, and my own property injured, and often sacrificed to the politics of that paper.
At the same time I may state, that the step I am now taking does not seem likely to injure the sale of the L.G. The Athenæum will be published on another day in the week; it will address persons of other politics, and when likely to be treated with impartiality in the L.G., early copies shall be supplied to both publications on the same day, leaving it to chance which shall anticipate the other in its notices of them. [Autobiography 4.68]
Colburn was trying to hedge his bets by part-owning both periodicals, assuming that if not both, at least one of them would ‘puff’ or favourably review the books he published. Jerdan called it a “little suicidal act of pique and folly”. He was piqued himself, enough to take the time to re-examine copies of the Literary Gazette for 1827, analysing the reviews that Colburn protested about. He dismissed the jibe about politics – the Gazette didn’t go in for politics, having been warned off the subject by Canning, although Jerdan himself was an ardent Tory; Colburn was not a political man, being motivated solely by profit. Jerdan found that all the publisher’s books had received praise, to the extent that the Literary Gazette had been reproached for its “good nature and being indiscriminately favourable to everybody.”
One of the exceptions to the good reviews given to Colburn’s books had tipped the publisher over into the Athenæum camp. His feelings had been hurt by a critical review of Lady Morgan’s novel, O’Brien’s and O’Flaherty’s for which he had paid a generous thirteen hundred pounds. Jerdan had not known at the time that this author was to Colburn “an idol of his Heroine worship” (4.71). Worse, Jerdan admitted that “there was no love lost” between Lady Morgan and himself: he had been presented to her at a soirée, and later heard that she had complained to a friend at “the idea of presenting that odious man to Me!” (He may well have been odious that night as, telling the tale against himself, he had been asked to stand in for the absent host. Excited by the company, he “contrived, through toast, sentiment, and the eliciting of interesting conversation, to do justice to my position and astonish the fine old butler by the frequency of his intercourse with the Bacchanalian regions” [4.71].) Jerdan concluded that Colburn’s anger, far from the reasons set out in his letter, was in fact purely personal: the Literary Gazette had not praised an author whom the publisher especially admired, especially as in Jerdan's eyes the book was not suitable for young ladies. In a nice twist of irony, Colburn eventually sold off his interest in the Athenæum and lost Lady Morgan’s next book, Review of France 1829-30, to rival publishers Saunders and Otley. The Literary Gazette for 11 Sept. 1830 reviewed this: “We opened this work more with the wish than the expectation that we should find it such as would warrant a great alteration in our general opinion of the writings of Lady Morgan. But in truth she has not improved by 20 years of authorship; her faults only become the more fatiguing by repetititon…flighty ebullitions…It is almost pitiable to look upon a mature person exhibiting such fantastic tricks; and even in a miss of seventeen the long continuation of the hoyden would be apt to create ennui if not disgust.”
Throwing a more objective light on Jerdan’s poor review of Lady Morgan’s book, and on Jerdan himself, was a letter discussing the matter from one of his close friends, Crofton Croker, to another, William Blackwood:
Poor Lady Morgan! Her ‘O’Briens and O’Flaherties’ seems to have fallen dead, completely dead, from the press. The book is decidely dull, but still her name ought to have carried an edition through. Colburn, I hear, swears that Jerdan’s having discovered it was an improper book for ladies to read has cost him £500 and really this is not impossible. The man of New Burlington Street [Colburn] is therefor (sic) very angry with the moral editor of the Literary Gazette and to this has been attributed the taking up of the Athenæum. Jerdan smarts, but nevertheless chuckles at his own impartiality – just criticism and duty to the public etc. etc. I believe too, from my soul, that Jerdan fancies all this; but the fact is he is naturally of the disposition that in the very face of truth he is continually doing flattering if not kind things to the set of literary midges which buzz about him and consider his commendations as sufficient to establish their reputation as wits, scholars and poets. [Quoted Pyle 185 from Oliphant]
There were other Literary Gazette reviews of Colburn’s publications during 1827 which angered him, such as the review of Hyde Nugent on 16 June 1827 which included an attack on puffery, and called the work “a commonplace story…offensive to good taste and always frivolous” (374). A comment on another of Colburn’s books called it “very silly, full of ridiculous opinions.” Yet another was “too verbose, too desultory…all the love history is bad” (17 Nov. 1827, 742). Such instances show that Jerdan was not as entirely under Colburn’s thumb as his enemies accused and, ready as he had been to use his influence for Canning’s benefit, Jerdan was still careful about promoting works he had not read, even for close friends. On 4 November 1827 he wrote to Allan Cunningham:
There is no judgment (in this world) that I would rely on more than your’s, and if I do not insert your notice of the Ant till I see something of the Ant, you are not to impute it to scepticism – for I am orthodox in what I have just proposed. But my rule has been to see, where possible, and confirm by my own knowledge, that I have gratefully admitted from any other quarter. You will readily perceive that by this means alone I could play the difficult cards (dirty paper!) I have to play. I stand the brunt of L.G. and no body has no claims from my being friendly to my friends. [Huntington Library]
Although Letitia Landon was always an exception, a letter like this and a few surviving similar ones, reinforce Jerdan’s frequent claims at the time, and all through his Autobiography, that he did not show favour to his friends unless it was deserved – his influence could not be taken for granted.
Jerdan recalled that Buckingham had offered to sell the Athenæum to him, before Colburn bought his share in it. However, as the Literary Gazette was then so superior, Jerdan’s co-partners thought it was not a worthwhile purchase, a decision later to be regretted. The Athenæum was losing money and Colburn was as unhappy with the Athenæum for failing to routinely puff his books as he had been with the Literary Gazette. His complaints were unfounded in both journals: the Athenæum favourably reviewed the books Colburn advertised in their pages; in September 1828 “there was a leading article on the Colburn publications as a whole, not extravagantly puffing, but still serving to advertise Colburn books” (Marchand 104). Dissatisfied with the attention given to his books Colburn quickly sold his share in the Athenæum.
Jerdan quoted a reader’s letter as saying that the Athenæum was “sad stuff – heavy as unleavened bread – it cannot rise” (4.360). This view was not an isolated one. “The charge of dullness was a frequent one at this time (1827-8) though often in the pages of rival publications it sprang from envy or malice” (Marchand 22n). Support for the Literary Gazette came from a surprising source. John Wilson of Blackwood’s, writing in his persona as Christopher North, noted the advent of the Athenæum in No. XXXVI of ‘Noctes Ambrosianae’ but gave it as his opinion that none of the weekly periodicals would ever oust the Literary Gazette, “simply for one reason – Mr Jerdan is a gentleman, and is assisted by none but gentlemen.” A year later he had not changed his mind: the Literary Gazette “stands beyond dispute at the head of its own class” (Blackwood’s Magazine, April 1829, 543). Seemingly, the public agreed with him, even though the Athenæum’s format closely resembled that of the Literary Gazette, and it followed the established journal’s content too, printing substantial extracts from the books it reviewed. Marchand suggests that the circulation of the Athenæum was about 500-600, low even by the standards of the day (Marchand 24).
At the end of its second year therefore, with such a low circulation, the Athenæum seemed to be going the same way as other imitators of the Literary Gazette. Buckingham’s share was bought by a consortium of friends, who quickly sold it on to Charles Wentworth Dilke. He became its editor, and changed its fortunes. At the outset of Dilke’s connection however, the Athenæum was still dull and heavily moralistic. Jerdan’s Autobiography quoted a ‘squib’ received by the Literary Gazette, allegedly from a supportive reader:
Mr Dilke, Mr Dilke,
Though the novice you bilk,
Be not hasty to sing the Te Deum,
No reader will quit
A print that has wit,
For your prosy and dull Athenæum. [4.360]
Jerdan was not yet worried about the competition: the Literary Gazette was still on an upward trajectory. Based upon the calculation that circulation of the Literary Gazette in 1817 was 3000 and had grown substantially in the following decade, it has been suggested that it reached 7-8000 a week by 1829,far superior to the upstart Athenæum (Collins 215; Marchand 44).
One of Jerdan’s many correspondents was Chauncey Hare Townshend, whose letter of 3 March 1828 Jerdan annotated as ‘highly amusing’, as it detailed Townshend’s tribulations in rebuilding and preparing an old mansion, Baynards in Sevenoaks (Wisbech and Fenland Museum). Perhaps because he knew of Jerdan’s affair with Landon, or maybe because of her association with the Literary Gazette, Townshend commented “I hope that Miss Landon is well, and that her unusual silence in the Muses’ chair forebodes a more meditated and a longer strain than any with which she has lately delighted us. Mrs Townshend often speaks of her with interest and we plan to induce her to visit our miniature Knole, when it is completed, and to give her the carved bed in the tapestry chamber, where dreams of the olden day may flit about her head…” Townshend was himself a writer, and in the midst of his chatty letter requested Jerdan to put in a few weeks of ‘advertisements’ for his work The Reigning Vice, with notices from the reviews, “as now, being the springtime of literature, it may be well to remind the world that there is such a poem.” He had just read “that scurrilous book, Leigh Hunt’s Lord Byron,” which inspired him to write a poem he enclosed. “If you should honour my indignation by giving it publicity in your Gazette I shall feel gratified, as I really think that fellow requires a trimming.”
Hunt had been contributing to the Gazette, and taking advantage of his urgent need for income to return to England from Italy, Colburn commissioned Hunt to write a book on Byron. Hunt had been a guest of Byron’s in Italy for two years, but at the end felt Byron had abandoned him. Colburn had published the “scurrilous” book Townshend complained of, Lord Byron and some of his Contemporaries. In some circles it was considered a breach of honour, and gave rise to a verse attack by Thomas Moore called “The ‘Living Dog’ and the ‘Dead Lion’,” to which Hunt, or a friend of his, replied with another verse entitled “The Giant and the Dwarf.” Colburn had been shrewd as ever, and Hunt’s book went into a second edition in the first year. In the Literary Gazette review of 26 January 1828, Jerdan objected to Hunt’s exposure of private quarrels with Byron, now unanswerable after Byron’s death, calling Hunt’s behaviour “base and unworthy…these personal and posthumous injuries are a disgrace to their perpetrators, and to the press of the country.” In calmer vein, Jerdan also reviewed The Works of Lord Byron (with the exception of the “licentious” Don Juan), published by Murray. Jerdan praised the cheap and neat edition, of which six thousand copies were sold on the first day. He particularly approved of affordable editions which “are well calculated to balk, if not to destroy that piratical system of pillaging British authors and publishers which is so extensively and shamefully carried on in France.” (In Paris, Galignani had published an edition at the same time and Jerdan naturally supported a British publisher over a foreign one.) Murray’s edition reawakened Jerdan’s old ambivalent feelings about Byron:
We always admired his genius, and we always entered our protest against his evil principles. The tomb has modified these feelings but has not altered them. We perhaps admire his genius more highly and we perhaps feel more charity towards his errors. We were often condemned as his enemies for pointing out his faults as a man and as a poet the sources whence he unquestionably borrowed many of his ideas; but because we would not shut our eyes to these facts, were we blind to the extraordinary merits of this gifted individual?
The notion of Jerdan, in the throes of his affair with Landon, setting up the Literary Gazette as a moral judge of Byron, could be thought hypocritical until we recall that for him, a guiding principle of the Gazette was to provide reading material suitable for respectable young ladies and thus could not be seen to accept Byron’s more licentious writings. In the Quarterly Lockhart jeered that Hunt’s was “the miserable book of a miserable man: the little airy fopperies of its manner are like the fantastic trip and compulsive simpers of some poor worn-out wanton, struggling between famine and remorse, leering through her tears” (Quoted Holden 218). How much more of a gentleman Jerdan sounded.
Left: Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton. G. Cook after Richard James Lane. 1848. Right: Rosina Anne Doyle Bulwer Lytton (née Wheeler), Lady Lytton (1802-1882). Engraving by John Jewell Penstone after Alfred Edward Chalon. 1852. Both courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London.
In the summer of 1828 Landon and Jerdan paid a visit, at the same time, to the Woodcot home of the now married Edward and Rosina Bulwer. The visit lasted some days according to Mary Greene, who lived much of the time with the Bulwers. Observing relaxed banter between Landon and her host, she assumed that they were philandering. In view of what is now known about Landon and Jerdan's relationship, it is unlikely that Landon would have trifled with Bulwer under Jerdan's nose, and doubly unlikely as Rosina Bulwer was at this time still her friend and ever watchful. Inviting Landon and Jerdan together, Bulwer may have changed his mind about their sexual involvement. A year or so earlier he had told his wife, “Mr Jerdan is awful! Poor Miss Landon ought not to go home in a hackney coach alone with him. The ill-natured who have read Miss Landon and not seen Mr Jerdan will talk” (Sypher 178). Bulwer clearly thought that Landon’s poems were transparently addressed to Jerdan, but found it hard to understand his attraction for her. By the end of the year however, Bulwer wrote to Jerdan from Weymouth, thanking him for a glowing review of The Disowned. Jerdan printed this letter in his Autobiography and included Bulwer’s postcript: “We hope Miss Landon is recovered. Should you see her, may we request you to remember us kindly to her” (4.193). This conventional note could be decoded in the light of what is now known – that by December 1828 Landon was three months pregnant with her third child, and suffering the common symptoms of nausea. Bulwer’s “should you see her” could be construed as a cloak for his knowledge of Jerdan’s paternity, and understanding that he did indeed see her very often. In the Autobiography Jerdan could not resist adding a footnote, confiding to his readers, “Of this charming being a note of nearly the same date says ‘It is impossible for any one acquainted as we are, with her many good and fine qualities not to feel greatly interested in her’.” If, as rumour had it, Bulwer was romantically involved with Landon, he was hardly likely to sing her praises to his rival, quite so openly.
Still occasionally caught up in bickering between his literary colleagues, in May Jerdan was asked to sympathise with a friend who was deeply offended by a review in The Court Journal, another of Colburn’s publications. The review was by Croly (already in trouble with Alaric Watts). In a letter of 16 May 1828 now in the Pierpont Morgan Library, G.P.R. James, whose book was the subject of the review, declared Croly was unfit to be a critic and had, moreover, given away his whole plot in bald detail, and made errors of fact. The Literary Gazette review, on the other hand, was “a delightful little paragraph [which] came most soothingly…and instantly took away the burning sensation which this Court Plaster had occasioned”.
Such praise often came Jerdan’s way, earned by what was widely perceived as his kindness to writers. One of the Literary Gazette’s favourite authors, W.H. Pyne, was another of Jerdan’s contributors who fell upon difficult times, and had to apply to the Literary Fund for money to survive. In May 1828 Jerdan wrote to Snow of the Literary Fund, asking for forty pounds for his friend who was in “very distressed circumstances” (Archives of the Royal Literary Fund, British Library, M1077/19). Jerdan was to pay the grant by instalments, as he thought expedient. This he did, and in July the Fund received a note from Pyne acknowledging the sum. He was forced to make other applications, right up until his death in 1843.
More positively, Jerdan was sitting for his portrait, to an artist named John Moore, evidenced by a note from Moore asking to postpone that week’s sitting, although the canvas had already been sent. The resulting painting was engraved by Woolnoth and published by Fisher in 1830. Around this time too, a marble bust of Jerdan was made by F. W. Smith, a pupil of Chantrey, and exhibited at the Royal Academy, the second time a sculpture of Jerdan had been on show there. It also appears that Jerdan was sitting for a portrait to the artist John Isaac Lilley. He apologised to Jerdan for the “folly of my servant”, and asked for one sitting “before you leave town…as after that I can forward the picture very much without you” (Edinburgh LaII 426/289.). An undated letter to Lilley from Jerdan offered to come on two days in the same week “if you desire another sitting, as I wish you much to make a good picture and the last sitting was very effective.” No trace of this portrait has come to light.
Jerdan sent a contribution to Alaric Watts’s Poetical Album, which he also included in his Autobiography. This was “ines Written by the Seaside,” and commenced grandly, “Hastings, upon thy coast I stood -/Still onward, onward rolled the flood.” His uneven two pages of verse analogised the waves with Man and his life, the roaring surge being like a warrior, gentle waves like the grave; rock pools and splashing water like joy, endlessly ebbing and flowing, leaving no trade. He ended:
And Man, whence springs thy senseless pride?
‘Tis but a CENTURY or a TIDE.
His melancholic verse may have owed something to Landon’s influence, or to the prevailing poetic mood of the times.
At the end of the year Jerdan also made two other contributions to annuals. A three verse scrap for the 1828 Friendship’s Offering was signed with Jerdan’s pseudonym, ‘Teutha’, his usual signature when not wishing to be easily identified with a work. This was a ballad with a first and last line to every verse, “’Tis heigh-ho, with a garland” to crown a lover’s brow when he returns from battle, or, if he is not a victor he will have been killed, in which case it will decorate a maiden’s grave. This may have been a Scottish ballad of which Jerdan knew many, but he does not claim it to be other than his own words. The second contribution was to The Amulet. “The Poet and the Glow-worm” is a brief narrative, in which the poet, taking a night-time walk, observes a glow-worm. Sorry for its vulnerability to predators because its light signals its presence, he gives utterance to his thoughts. The glow-worm, “The first with human speech supplied”, explains how wrong the poet is, comparing his own self-knowledge with the vanity of Man, who thinks himself above the rest of nature. “Man sees all dangers but his own”, he says. The glow-worm’s fire inhibits predators, he tells the poet, therefore his light is his “pride and safeguard too”. The next lines speak directly to the gossip and rumours surrounding Jerdan and his lover:
But what avails in modern days
The splendour of the poet’s blaze?
Say, shields it from the woes of life,
From envy, malice, slander, strife,
Insult, oppression, scorn and hate,
The frowns of fortune and of fate?
Or rather does it not expose
To other ills and add to those?
The poet, withdraws, sadly acknowledging the truth of the glow-worm’s analogy.
Jerdan, by his own admittance, was useless at keeping track of money. Accounts and book-keeping were a foreign language to him. “…my blunders in attempting numbers, reckonings, or accounts have been so ludicrous, that a schoolboy of ten years old would have been whipt for making them” (4.229). Fortunately however, his business partners in the Literary Gazette were more methodical, and some records now in the British Library show the Gazette accounts with Longman Rees & Co. for the years 1826-1829 (Bentley Papers, Add. 46674). Jerdan had two income streams from the Literary Gazette. He pocketed one-third of the profits made by the magazine, the other thirds going to Colburn, and to Longman & Co. This profit share was paid quarterly; in 1826, the first year he was in Grove House, he earned a total of £1075 17s 0d for 467 issues of the Literary Gazette. His 1827 share was £1,032 12s 5d, and in 1828 it rose to a hefty £1,444 17s 0d, reflecting increased circulation. In addition to this profit share he was paid separately as Editor, mostly, but not always, on a regular weekly basis. His fee was seven guineas per issue from January 1826 to the end of 1827, when it became ten guineas per issue. Two entries of five pounds each were shown in October and December 1826 for “balance” payments, possibly for extra work. During these lucrative years, Jerdan banked with Drummonds. In a letter to Francis Bennoch dated 10 May 1858, he recorded his ‘intromissions’ (deposits) as £2,110 2s 7d in 1826, £3,275 19s 4d in 1827, £2,349 5s 9d in 1818 and £2,593 10s 9d in 1829 – “in four years £10,328.18.5 all my own fair earning” (U. of Iowa Libraries MsLJ55bAc).
Francis Bennoch, 1812-1890 by William Ridgway after Alexander Johnston.
Courtesy of the National Scottish Portrait Gallery.
In 1828 Jerdan, Crofton Croker and some other Fellows of the Society of Antiquaries, travelled to Keston in Kent, to excavate a site thought to be the Roman station of Noviomagus. “They discovered the foundations of a temple, and several ancient stone coffins, Roman remains et.” (Hall, Retrospect 2.504). Jerdan was always unsure whether these items were truly “taken from the bosom of the earth or carried there by some humorist of the party” (4.32). Crofton Croker and another of the Fellows read papers on these finds to the Society of Antiquaries on 27 November. A few weeks later Crofton Croker was elected “Lord High President” of an offshoot of the Society of Antiquaries, known as the “Society of Noviomagus”, after the Roman station. The new society was a social club, more to the taste of the break-away group than the learned and serious Antiquarians. Members however, had to be FSAs, and Jerdan was happy to be among their number. The Noviomagians dined together six times a year, initially at Wood’s Hotel in Portugal Street, and later at the Freemasons’ Tavern. Crofton Croker remained Lord High President until his death. Other officials bore titles such as “Father-Confessor”, “Poet-Laureate” or “Keeper of the Records”. Samuel Carter Hall, who joined later, recalled that a “country outing” was held on the first Saturday in July, when ladies were also invited. On such occasions a brief historical and antiquarian paper was read by one of the members.
The Noviomagians were bent on fun as well as learning, and their principles were “topsy-turvy”. To pass a resolution, there had to be a preponderance of ‘Noes’; in giving a toast to honour a guest, the speaker had to say what he did not mean, and mean what he did not say. This led “to keen and happy contests of wit between assailant and assailed.” The Minutes had to record the jokes, to misrepresent what anyone said, and carefully note the objects of antiquarian interest which were handed round and examined at each dinner. Jerdan recalled the meetings as “often exceedingly instructive and always entertaining [but] in the midst of these high-jink enjoyments, it must not be thought that the real business of Archaeological inquiry and science was quite neglected” (4.33).
Jerdan’s one-third partner and founder of the Literary Gazette, Henry Colburn, was a thoroughly commercial man, interested only in the profitability of his investments, using them to promote the books he published. He already had the New Monthly Magazine in addition to the Literary Gazette. In January 1829 he purchased the London Weekly Review. This had been founded two years earlier by D. L. Richardson and was initially so successful that John Murray offered to take a half-share in it. To Richardson’s eternal regret, he declined Murray’s offer, and his paper soon folded. Colburn’s transaction over the Weekly Review stirred Jerdan and the Longmans into action, fearing a rival to the Literary Gazette, even though Colburn still held one-third of its shares. Writing from Longmans’ offices in Paternoster Row, declaring that he was authorised by the publisher to speak on their behalf, Jerdan advised Colburn in a businesslike and clear letter of 12 February 1829 of their decision, in a spirit of “zealous, cordial and friendly co-operation in future.” They were “ready to charge £750 on the Literary Gazette as a maximum to keep you harmless of loss in your speculation with the Weekly Review. Leaving it to your honour, should less have been incurred, to make any deduction necessary” (U. of Reading, Special Collections, Longman Archives, I 102/100c). Colburn was to promise to sell on the Review “to a person in my confidence” so that the Literary Gazette did not appear to be buying up its rivals; Colburn should withdraw completely from the Review, and when it was sold, it should be discontinued. Jerdan’s last stipulation was that no partner in the Literary Gazette was to be “connected with any Reviewing or Literary Weekly publication similar to the Literary Gazette.” Agreement from Colburn was requested within the week, and the matter was to be kept confidential. It is surprising that Longmans left such a legalistic letter to Jerdan, rather than to one of their own directors more used to drafting agreements, but they may have felt that any rival to the Literary Gazette would be better quashed by one who had a more heavily vested interest in its success. To avoid all of Jerdan’s restrictions however, and to sidestep the agreement he had made with Richardson to share future profits in the London Weekly Review, Colburn merely closed down the periodical and in May 1829 re-started it under the name of the Court Journal. For a brief period P.G. Patmore was editor, succeeded eventually by Laman Blanchard for a longer time.
In October 1829 whilst he was already very busy, Jerdan agreed to take on writing twenty-four pages a month for Fisher’s National Portrait Gallery of Illustrious and Eminent Personages of the Nineteenth Century. Each twenty-four pages earned him twenty-five pounds, and he was paid in arrears. Fisher’s letter of 17 October 1829 enclosed “a Bill for £105 at five months”, as the first payment (Bodleian Library, MS. Eng. Lett. d. 113, f185). He agreed with terms Jerdan had proposed to him, except for the mode of payment. Fisher was not a man to pay in advance, so covered himself by terms that paid Jerdan this first £105 to be cashed in March 1830, to cover the first four numbers of the Gallery. The second payment for the same sum for the following four numbers would be paid as a Bill for encashment four months later, and so on. The agreement was to bind both parties for twelve months, unless dissolved by mutual consent. Fisher was very precise as to his requirements: “Copy for three Memoirs that we name to you, to be forwarded to us monthly, and every month, not later than the 15th of each month; each number to contain not less than three half sheets of letter press…” If Jerdan did not perform, there would be a penalty of £100.
The title-page and two of the portraits that preceded each biography in National Portrait Gallery, Wellington at the left and Byron at the right. [Click on images to enlarge them.]
Jerdan considered his fee liberal, and although he was not in financial need at this time, he later mused that it would have been all the same if he had relied upon it, as the agreement would have been withdrawn eventually, leaving him destitute: he used this as an example of the uncertainty of literary pursuits, one of his main themes of his Autobiography. However, he accepted the commission of this work, and dedicated it to George IV, but it was an onus which lay “like a load” upon him, and he “would rather have written ten times as much of any other kind of literature” (4.303). For a man with his amount of journalistic output, and with experience of many years of editing and reviewing for his Literary Gazette, it is surprising to learn how difficult Jerdan found this new commission. He explained the reason behind his difficulty:
Of all species of authorship, faithful and satisfactory biography is the most difficult. The impossibility of being perfectly certain of facts is the first stumbling block; the risk of drawing right conclusions from those you are fortunate enough to obtain is the next; and the delicacy required for steering by the lamp of truth, without flattery or offence, consummates the obstacles to authentic personal history. In the case of living individuals, the responsibility is increased, and the dilemmas multiplied tenfold. [4.303]
Each individual included in the National Portrait Gallery was depicted in an engraving, using a variety of artists. The accompanying text, for which Jerdan was responsible, varied in length between four and fourteen pages. Exceptionally, he devoted no less than twenty-eight pages to George Canning, the entry being written less than three years after Canning’s death, his memory still dear to Jerdan. The personal link between the two men is evident in the language Jerdan uses; the entry is more of a hagiography than a biography, emotion running off the page. Having described the ancestry of his subject and the historic events with which he was concerned on his political path to the Premiership, Jerdan moved on to the multitude of memorabilia – monuments, sculptures and paintings – which abounded following Canning’s death. None, Jerdan said, are truly a satisfactory likeness. Reviewing the King’s Edition of the National Portrait Gallery in the Literary Gazette of 15 May 1830, Jerdan quoted extracts from his own memoir of Canning as “they cannot fail to be interesting to our readers” – a puff if ever there was one. Unfortunately for Jerdan, few of his subjects came as easily to him as Canning, and required much research and discussion to acquire the facts that he needed.
An entry in Volume I was on Spencer Perceval and, as he described, Jerdan was “a close eye-witness of, and an agitated actor in, the scene that deprived England of her distinguished ornament and principal Minister.” More than four of the thirteen pages on the subject of the former Prime Minister went into great detail about the Bellingham assassination and Jerdan’s part in it, complete with a diagram of the position of the participants. However, as Jerdan said, this was an unparalleled event in the history of the country, causing “extraordinary agitation which every where prevailed, looked more like the convulsion of an empire, that the loss of one man, however exalted and beloved” (1.8).
Jerdan regarded some of the biographies on which he worked as of high historical value, because of the intrinsic integrity of the material. Others were more commonplace; he found some living subjects more co-operative and amusing than others when asked to proof read their entry. One example of this was his memoir of Lord Chancellor Eldon who caused him so much extra work in checking minute facts that in compensation he sent Jerdan a brace of birds shot by his own hand. However, Eldon “ruthlessly struck out” Jerdan’s torrid account of his runaway marriage, giving Jerdan “the only specimen that I am aware of, of the manner in which a really great and distinguished man would write his autobiography.” (4.308). Besides Canning and Perceval, other subjects with whom Jerdan was personally acquainted were Huskisson, Palmerston, Goderich and Aberdeen – the Tory great and good, and others in the world of literature and the arts.
The series on the National Portrait Gallery was much admired and achieved successful sales for Fisher. However, as with all successful plans, copyists were not far behind. Jerdan’s acquaintances Lord Brougham and Charles Knight set up in the literary business and amongst many other types of publications produced a Portrait Gallery, “the plan copied from, and in direct competition with Messrs. Fishers’” (4.303). Supported by subscription, they undersold Fisher’s publication, and cut costs by using old engravings, and advertising widely at moderate expense, utilising their literary contacts. In the light of this competition Fisher asked Jerdan to accept a reduction in his fee of one-third; whilst being sympathetic to his employer’s problem, Jerdan declined, not only for the financial reduction, but because the tedium and pressure after four years’ continuous monthly production was uncongenial and he was glad to find an excuse to terminate his commission.
Astonishingly, Jerdan found time between his work on Fisher’s Gallery, the Literary Gazette, his family and his affair with Landon, to write a burlesque upon the fashionable travel books popular at this time. Twelve years earlier he had exploited the explosion of books on Paris with his Six Weeks in Paris, or a Cure for the Gallomania. This time his target was nearer home, a spoof upon such books as Richard Phillips’s A Morning’s Walk from London to Kew (1817) and his A Personal Tour Through the United Kingdom (1828). The very title page gives the game away, in its absurd amount of detail: Personal Narrative of a Journey Over-Land from The Bank to Barnes, by way of Piccadilly, Knightsbridge, Brentford, Tossbury, Putney Bridge and the Countries West of London, as you approach Mortlake, Kew, Richmond, and other Royalties on the Banks of the Thames, with some Account of the Inhabitants and Customs of the regions East of Kensington, by an Inside Passenger. To which is appended A Model for a Magazine being the product of the author’s sojourn at the village of Barnes during five rainy days. The volume was published by Jerdan’s Literary Gazette partners Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown & Green. It falls into two quite distinct sections, the “travel” part taking up fifty pages, and the Magazine Model one hundred and sixteen pages, although billed as a mere appendage. Longman & Co. must have realised that a ‘model for a magazine’ would not sell books, but a travel book was always popular, and a skit even more so.
The ‘Prefatory Admonition’ discussed the problems confronting the traveller at home; whilst writing of adventures in a foreign land, even the gouty can “bound from crag over ravine with the fleetness of the chamois”. At home, an encounter with “an amorous bull might serve to diversify, but it sadly wants dignity of situation.” The seven chapters which follow adopted the language of travel writers. The ‘adventures’ of the journey included a pretty girl to whom the narrrator made advances, a young man destined for the university and his silly scientific pretensions; observations on horse troughs and pumps by the roadside, and a disquisition on the archives at Tossbury, where Jerdan could not resist a jibe at do-gooders, relating how Squire Gubbins left eighteen pounds to the parish on condition it was to accumulate in the funds until there was a sufficiency to “cloath, feed, educate and apprentice ten boys and ten girls of the village”. The ‘travel’ book is full of such absurdities, culminating when the stage drew near to Kew:
We saw about half-a-dozen cows galloping furiously towards the river’s brink; flirting their tails, and indeed, conducting themselves with a vivacity perfectly inconsistent with the acknowledged sobriety of that useful animal. He [the young university man] calmed our apprehensions by informing us that they were intended for the East Indies. Every other day they are fed with best rock-salt, instead of green-meat; which, by chemical agency renders them fat and fit to be killed, and sent on ship-board at a moment’s notice; the trouble and delay of salting down being totally unnecessary. These cows, he assured us, had just finished their thirst-inducing meal.
Jerdan created many opportunities like this to make fun of the pontificating tone of the travel book genre, and of the abundance of pseudo-scientific experiments ubiquitous at the time. It made an amusing light read, and could not possibly be taken as a serious travel book, especially when teamed with the ‘Model for a Magazine’.
It is possible that this section of the volume was written either with, or by, Theodore Hook, but the style is Jerdan’s, especially salient as it started by insisting that “‘Prospectus’ and ‘Puff’ are not synonymes”. The ‘Model’ is divided into categories such as any general magazine might offer: Original Communications, Biographiana, Politics, Original Poetry, Musical Reviews and so on, with a brief paragraph on each. The humour is heavy-handed: the Chinese correspondent offered an “Infallible Recipe for Restoring the Teeth to an Inimitable Jet-Black” by applying a mixture of black tea, Indian ink and ‘as much indigo as will cover a Chinese foot’, and not eating or drinking for three days. A ‘Plan for the Total Abolition of Accidents’ proposed punishment for every accident suffered; Reviews of Literature noted ‘The Four Bloody Monks or the Court of Thunderumbo’, a grand Gothic romance in which “the greatest possible number of murders will be compressed into the least possible quantity of letterpress,” Other views were similarly jocular, and one can imagine Jerdan chuckling to himself, or with Hook, inventing spoofs on every aspect of current culture as fast as they could. It must have been a welcome relief from the more serious business of their working lives.
In October 1862 Notes & Queries , a question from ‘H.C. Index’asked about the authorship of “this clever little book bearing this alliterative title” (329). James Knowles replied (15 Nov. p 396) that it was Jerdan of the Literary Gazette. “The idea, I apprehend, was taken from the Voyage de Paris a St Cloud, par Mer, et de la Retour per Terre, published long before at Paris, in which the captain of the pacquebot is made to astonish his badaud passengers by an assurance that, although he had for twenty years encountered the perils of the trajet, he had never once been drowned – jamais!”
Jerdan’s reviews of The Venetian Bracelet, which appeared before publication of the book on 3 and 10 October, were designed to encourage sales of the book and of the magazine. Hailing L.E.L. as usual, as a “genius”, he nevertheless drew attention to her “apparent moods and sentiment of self-condemnation”, a complaint taken up by later reviewers.
This claim could not be made for Jerdan himself, who was the same genial, company-loving, literature-loving man whether at his desk or at table – but then neither he, nor posterity, made any claim that he was a “genius”.
Writers of some celebrity, like Landon, were taken up by society hostesses as ‘catches’ or adornments to their parties. The same was true for artists of all kinds, such as actors, painters and musicians. Jerdan too would have been asked to social evenings on his own account, not merely as an escort for Landon. She would have been sought after for her charm and famously witty, sometimes sharp, conversation, as an ‘entertainer’ for the higher echelons of society. That she herself did not especially enjoy such gatherings was made clear in “Lines of Life,” but refusal to attend would have diminished her attraction for her middle-class readers, who liked to know that their muse frequented upper-class society. The emptiness and vapidity of many such gatherings was caught very clearly in a sketch by Jerdan, most of which has survived.
This sketch, which does not appear to have been published, was entitled “The Conversazione”. It satirised these vacuous social get-togethers where the participants were bored with themselves and with each other, and the predictable conversations. The surviving manuscript, now in the University of Chicago Library, runs to nineteen large pages, and is annotated that four pages are missing (Codex MS 872). Judging from the handwriting, Jerdan tossed this off in great haste, with much crossing out and overwriting, rendering some of the words illegible. However, there is quite enough to give a strong flavour of the fun Jerdan is making of polite society.
At an evening gathering, expected guests are discussed with much back-biting and criticism, only for them to be met with unctuous flattery when they enter the room. A writer wishes to read his latest play, but they whittle down his performance until they reach “at least this first page”. He gets as far as declaiming the first two lines when the company is saved by the arrival of a singer. The writer concedes defeat, muttering as he packs away his manuscript, “Such confounded, silly, tasteless, chattering set never man got into.” The singer is swiftly interrupted by the hostess who invites everyone to gather around and inspect a newcomer’s “delightful drawings” and to hear his ridiculous ideas about buildings. He bores the company at length with his proposal to remove half of Waterloo Bridge to make the river navigable for boats up to Oxford. In the background of all these performances a certain amount of flirting is carried on, oblivious of manners or morals. The evening ends at last, everyone dissatisfied, but doubtless prepared to repeat the experience again the next night.
Jerdan’s irony is not nearly as caustic as it might have been, suggesting that this piece might have been dashed off for an amateur dramatic production as private entertainment, rather than for print. If even half of the ennui he implied was the tenor of these gatherings, they would indeed have been a trial, especially for Landon who knew that her reputation was being torn to pieces at this time.
Much more to his liking were the sort of evenings he described with glee, such as the first time he dined with Coleridge. Frederic Mansell Reynolds, editor of The Keepsake, invited Jerdan as the cornerstone of a party of eight, to the two small rooms he rented for the autumn months upstairs in a gardener’s cottage in Highgate. Fine wines were served, and in the absence of port, black-strap was obtained from a nearby inn. The brilliant punster Hook toasted their host, amazing Coleridge with his cleverness and quickness. Another guest distrusted Hook’s extemporising, challenging him to declaim a verse on ‘Cocoanut Oil’, then advertised as the best flame feeder. Hook obliged instantly, giving the whole story in verse, “polished enough for instant publication”. Many toasts followed and Coleridge instigated a game of ‘tumbler’shying’, involving smashing all the drinking glasses. The noise and merriment so upset the cook, the gardener’s wife (who was also the subject of Hook’s last song), that she fled for protection to her sister. Walking home later, in company with the hired waiter, scenes in the kitchen were described so vividly that Jerdan, laughing helplessly, had to hang on to the railings in Piccadilly for support. He was pulled up by a ‘Charley’, a nightwatchman, and managed to get home without further incident. “Evenings such as this shed a bright halo over the clouds of life,” he recalled (4.235).
Jerdan’s entertainments continued to include the ‘shows’ he so enjoyed, and which continued to provide material for the Literary Gazette. The Colosseum, completed in late 1832 in Regents Park, where the Royal College of Physicians now stands, featured the first passenger lift in London worked by hydraulic power. Ten or twelve people a time were taken to the top of the building to appreciate the huge panorama of London as if from the pinnacle of St Paul’s Cathedral. Thomas Horner, who owned the building (and invented the elevator in 1826), had been left in dire straits when his partner absconded with a fortune. “Horner’s manifold connections with the London press were never more useful than now. In immediate response to the crisis, the Literary Gazette came out with a two-part article on 17 and 31 January 1829. The London Magazine, the Athenæum and the Mirror of Literature also carried articles” (Altick 146). >
John Braham by Samuel De Wild. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery.
The Colosseum was bought two years later by the singer John Braham (of the Melodists Club), after Horner had fled to America, where he died in 1844. In an adjectival orgy, the Literary Gazette of 22 August 1829 noticed a recurring panorama of Constantinople, displayed in Leicester Square and, in 1829, in the Strand; the review drew crowds to the show: “…the present critical situation of the Turkish Empire, when no one can tell how soon this magnificent city, with its splendid palaces, superb kiosks, swelling domes, extensive terraces, lofty mosques, pointed minarets, glittering crescents, and populous seraglios, may be exposed to the ravages of an almost barbarous army.”
Freaks continued to be popular: the Literary Gazette of 28 November 1829 reported on Siamese twins at the Egyptian Hall and a child with two heads, “a disagreeable mass in a glass jar of spirits” which disgruntled visitors had expected to see alive (5 July 1828). Edward Bulwer wrote a long poem based on this exhibit, entitled “The Siamese Twins.” One of the most absurd exhibits was supposedly a three year old French girl with the words ‘Napoleon Empereur’ in her left iris and ‘Empereur Napoleon’ in her right iris. Similar claims were immediately made for other children, and the Literary Gazette of 23 August 1828 commented caustically, “We should not be surprised to see it become the (inconvenient) fashion for every baby to have its papa’s initials at least on one of its peepers.” Jerdan, at least, would be relieved that this was only a joke. Scientific inventions enabled the microbes in a single drop of London water to be examined, at the aptly named Microcosm in Regent Street. At another venue the Literary Gazette of 7 September 1833 tartly noted, “To see a flea as large as a camel must gratify every flea-bitten observer, by inducing a satisfaction and sense of security at not having been devoured by the attack of such an animal” (573).
Jerdan was still using Grove House frequently for literary gatherings and his associates thus became acquainted, and often friends with Frances Jerdan and her daughters. Edward Blaquiere, the author and scholar on Greece, and Bulwer both mentioned the family in letters in mid-1829. Bulwer’s letter of 7 August 1829 came with a gift which meant a great deal to the emotional and sentimental Jerdan:
Happening to call at my silversmith’s I was struck with the oddity and workmanship of a little inkstand, and on enquiry learnt that it had once been ordered by Mr Canning, but never sent home to him on account of his death. Upon hearing this, I remembered your friendship for that remarkable man, and imagined that the circumstance might give the inkstand that value, which in itself is too mere a trifle to possess. [Bodleian d. 114, f581]
With such a sensitive gesture, Bulwer-Lytton proved himself a genuine friend to Jerdan. Not everyone took such a view. Dilke’s grandson interpreted the gift as a bribe (Duncan 63).
Charles Dickens’ future father-in-law, George Hogarth and his wife also sent greetings to Mrs Jerdan, with
a delightful recollection of the great kindness we received from you when in London a few years ago, and have often wished to have the pleasure of seeing you among us here. I beg also to be remembered to Miss Landon, who probably has no remembrance of us – but you may remind her of a very pleasant day we spent along with her and you in seeing a great many lions. At that time she was just beginning to acquire that name which has become so celebrated. [28 October 1829, Pierpont Morgan MA 104 79.]
The purpose of Hogarth’s letter was to request Jerdan and Landon’s permission to insert a song he wrote to an old verse of L.E.L.’s into Chappell’s music annual, but from his memories it is clear that he associated Jerdan with both his wife and Landon, whose poetic influence by this time had crossed the Atlantic. This influence was confirmed in February 1829 when the Literary Gazette reviewed The Token, an literary annual published in America and in England. The poetry it carried was strikingly imitative of L.E.L.’s work.
At the end of the year Jerdan sent a verse, “Bells” to the Gem for 1830, which probably took him fewer moments to write than the eight lines it comprised would take to recite. He also contributed to The Keepsake for 1829, a poem called “Life’s Day.” Many of his verses for annuals take the journey through life as their motif; he was to compare life stages to footsteps and to the sea. Here he spoke of morning, noon, evening and night as friends are lost, love has fled, and death beckons:
Where the morn’s tints shall all be forgot,
Where the noon’s heat shall penetrate not,
Where the eve’s gather’d harvest shall rot –
Untroubled the rest of the tomb.
In his over-stretched life, Jerdan seems to have sent this poem in without much revision.
On 29 June 1829, (according to her baptismal record of 17 March 1850), Landon gave birth in Clerkenwell to a daughter, and called her Laura, as a reflection of her admiration for Petrarch’s Laura (St Michael’s Queenhithe, City of London. LDS Film No. 0374509). This time the surname was Landon, not Stuart as the two earlier children had been named. This is a curious change, and might be construed as Laura being not Jerdan’s daughter, but fathered by one of the other men with whom Landon was widely rumoured to have a relationship, although no evidence for any such affairs has yet been found. The list included Maginn, Daniel Maclise and Edward Bulwer. Whoever was Laura’s biological father, Jerdan assumed she was his, writing to his daughter Ella in his old age, “Laura is a dear creature, and I love her beyond expression” (Lawdord 53).
The publisher Henry Colburn had taken Richard Bentley into partnership in his publishing house in 1829. Bentley was “short, pink-faced, heavily whiskered and bristly-haired. He had a strong character and was daring in his plans which usually succeeded” (Page 5.104). Their arrangement lasted only three years at which time Colburn sold his share of the business to Bentley, but retained his interest in the magazines, including the Literary Gazette. Ignoring his agreement not to compete with Bentley, Colburn set up in business again and became a fierce rival to Bentley who eventually paid him to dissolve the agreement. They and their rivalry were famously portrayed as Bacon and Bungay by Thackeray in Pendennis. Colburn returned to London where his puffing practice grew in earnest.
Jerdan wrote an uncharacteristically testy note to Bentley on 4 December, requesting the response which Colburn had assured him would be “immediate”, to a proposition concerning a new novel by L.E.L. Ollier, their man of business, thought it would be a good idea and Jerdan was sure it would be profitable. Relations between Jerdan and Colburn were yet again at a low ebb, as he told Bentley on 4 December 1829: “My letter from Mr Colburn being in other respects an unpleasant one, as he seems to think I have charged him with injustice and illiberality, whereas I only accused him of delays and want of decision which have done me considerable injury, besides keeping my mind unsettled – I venture to hope that you will meet my friendly (however misconstrued) (sic) more promptly and in a better spirit.” To urge a speedy reply Jerdan noted that Miss Landon was leaving town in a day or two. Bentley was usually more amenable than Colburn, and most people preferred to deal with him rather than with his aggressive partner. Shortly afterwards, not having received a response, Jerdan pressed again saying that he was “coaching down” to visit the friends where Landon was staying and wished to conclude the business of the novel, as delays and uncertainties divert the mind. It seemed that the publishers had agreed to take her novel. Acting as her agent, Jerdan said that if they wished it to be completed by May, they could do so, and “I will ratify (as authorized) my agreement in her name, if done at once” (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center). Landon had wanted to divide profits at Longmans, which Jerdan agreed would be most profitable, but she was prepared to deal with Bentley as her circumstances demanded immediate resources. Bulwer concurred and Jerdan reported that the popular novelist “said he thought it madness not to secure this writer at a much higher cost.” The proposed novel was likely to have been Landon’s first, Romance and Reality, published at the beginning of 1831.
It is obvious from his comments above that Jerdan was acting on behalf of Landon as her agent, in dealings with the publisher, and he has been identified as the ‘first agent’ in the field of literature, a topic to be considered later. At least one Edinburgh publisher wished to appoint an agent in London. Jerdan spent what was plainly a merry evening with Blackwood, when the Edinburgh editor was in London in May 1829. Dropping him a note on 3 May 1829, Jerdan remarked that if he had had his wits about him when they spoke of Blackwood’s London Agency, he would have recommended his “worthy frere James Duncan” (National Library of Scotland, 4025/1-2). Should Blackwood contemplate other arrangements, he offered his own services. He forgot to tell Blackwood at the time, that he had recommended him as “the publisher of able and successful works of this description” for a translation from the German of a two-volume novel, The Early Days of Count Eugene. In a letter of 14 June that Jerdan probably addressed to Blackwood, he asked, “What do you give for such an affair: i.e. if you relish the offer at all? I think the writer might be in other ways useful to C. North Esq” (National Library of Scotland.). Sitting where he was, in the centre of a vast web of writers of all sorts, booksellers, publishers, politicians, institutional directors and socialites, Jerdan was ideally placed to act as facilitator or mediator in any number of ways. He could have made himself a comfortable additional income from such work, but it was more in keeping with his character that he did such tasks out of kindness and a willingness to be helpful to everyone.
Altick, Richard A. The Shows of London. Cambridge, Mass. & London: Belknap Press, 1978.
Briggs, Asa. The Age of Improvement. London: Longmans, 1959.
. Some Correspondence of George Canning. Ed. E. Stapleton. London: Longman & Co., 1887.
Croker, T.C. A Walk from London to Fulham. (Partly re-written Beatrice Horne.) London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. 1860, 2nd ed. 1896.
Cruse, Amy. The Englishman and his Books in the early Nineteenth Century. London: George Harrap & Co., 1930.
Dibert-Himes, Glenn T.“ Introductory Essay to The Comprehensive Index and Bibliography to the Collected Works of Letitia Elizabeth Landon.” Dissertation. Ann Arbor, Michigan. UMI 1997.
Duncan, Robert. “William Jerdan and the Literary Gazette.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Cincinnati, 1955.
Gettmann, Royal A. A Victorian publisher, A Study of the Bentley Papers. Cambridge: University Press, 1960.
Griffin, D. Life of Gerald Griffin. London: 1843.
Hall, S. C. Retrospect of a Long Life. 2 vols. London: Richard Bentley & Son, 1883.
Hall, S. C. The Book of Memories of Great Men and Women of the Age, from personal acquaintance. 2nd ed. London: Virtue & Co. 1877.
Holden, Anthony. The Wit in the Dungeon: A Life of Leigh Hunt. Little, Brown, 2005.
Howitt, William. Homes and Haunts of the Most Eminent British Poets. London & New York: Routledge Warne & Routledge, 1847.
Howitt, Margaret, ed. Mary Howitt. An Autobiography. London: Isbister, 1891.
Jerdan, William. Autobiography. 4 vols. London: Arthur Hall, Virtue & Co., 1852-53.
Jerdan, William. Men I Have Known. London: Routledge & Co., 1866.
The Letters of Letitia Elizabeth Landon. Ed. F. J. Sypher, Delmar, New York: Scholars’ Facsimiles & Reprints, 2001.
Landon, L. E. Romance and Reality. London: Richard Bentley, 1848.
Landon, L. E. Letitia Elizabeth Landon: Selected Writings. Ed. Jerome J. McGann and D. Reiss. Broadview Literary Texts, 1997.
Lawford, Cynthia. “Diary.” London Review of Books. 22 (21 September 2000).
Lawford, Cynthia. “Turbans, Tea and Talk of Books: The Literary Parties of Elizabeth Spence and Elizabeth Benger.” CW3 Journal. Corvey Women Writers Issue No. 1, 2004.
Lawford, Cynthia. “The early life and London worlds of Letitia Elizabeth Landon., a poet performing in an age of sentiment and display.” Ph.D. dissertation, New York: City University, 2001.
Pyle, Gerald. “The Literary Gazette under William Jerdan.” Ph. D. dissertation, Duke University, 1976.
Rappoport, J. “Buyer Beware: The Gift Poetics of L.E.L.” Nineteenth Century Literature. 58/4 (March 2004).
Roe, Nicholas. The First Life of Leigh Hunt: Fiery Heart. London: Pimlico, 2005.
Sadleir, Michael. Bulwer and his Wife: A Panorama 1803-1836. London: Constable & Co. 1931.
St. Clair, W. The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period.
Sypher, F. J. Letitia Elizabeth Landon, A Biography. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Scholars’ Facsimiles & Reprints, 2004, 2nd ed. 2009.
Watts, A. A. Alaric Watts. London: Richard Bentley, 1884.
Westmacott, C. M. Cockney Critics. J. Duncombe, 1823.
Last modified 26 June 2020