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Gaston de Blondeville, or the Court of Henry III. Keeping
Festival in Ardenne, a Romance. St. Alban's Abbey, a Metrical Tale; with some Poetical Pieces. By ANNE RADCLIFFE, Author, of “ The Mysteries of Udolpho," “ Romance of the Forest,” &c. To which is prefixed, a Memoir of the Author, with Extracts from her Journals. Four Volumes in Two. Philadelphia. Carey & Lea. 1826. 12mo.
We should have been glad of a better life of Mrs. Radcliffe than the one before us. It contains but little more than is to be found in the extract in Scott's “Lives of the Novelists." Let us, however, be grateful for that little, and, in particular, for the correction of the silly stories set a-going by some small theorists, who thought to account for the operations of a mind, which they should have been content to look up at in silent wonder.
Mrs. Radcliffe never was in Italy; and it now seems that all the mountain scenery of “The Mysteries of Udolpho ” was laid open to the public gaze before ever she visited the Rhine, or even made the tour of the English lakes. This is fortunate for the Edinburgh Reviewers; for, as their old theory has come to naught, they have now an opportunity to build up another. Scott, though he fell into the Rhine, has not stumbled on the mountains of Italy, and remarks; “The inaccuracy of the reviewer is of no great consequence; but a more absurd report found its way into print, that Mrs. Radcliffe, having visited the fine old Gothic mansion of Haddon House, had insisted upon remaining a night there, in the course of which she had been inspired with all that enthusiasm for Gothic residences, hidden passages, and mouldering