A More Complete Text of Fatherless Fanny

Once upon a time on my Maria Lectrix blog, I recorded a public domain audiobook of Fatherless Fanny, a Regency Gothic novel written in the Regency which inspired many later authors, including Thackeray (who uses Fanny-like characters and settings in Vanity Fair), Frances Hodgson Burnett (from her mother’s retelling) and Georgette Heyer (who obviously liked its humor tone and adopted it). The best text I could find was a nicely illustrated edition from 1820.

However, at the time I felt that the last section was missing something, as the chapter names mostly disappeared and some chapters were essentially summarized. I looked around online and off, but couldn’t find a better edition; so I assumed that the publisher had rushed the author for some reason.

However, it turns out that a full text is now available online, courtesy of archive.org and the University of Illinois-Urbana’s digitization of their rare books. The text is in four volumes, and the new-to-me material is in Volume 4. The chapter numbers are somewhat different in this 1811 edition, also.

Basically, Mr. Hamilton finishes his story, and then Fanny is abducted to Ireland; but now we learn what Mr. Hamilton and Albemarle were doing during all this, and Fanny’s experiences are filled out as well. The new characters in Ireland are also much better done.

It would appear indeed that the anonymous authoress (probably not Clara Reeve, either) had a great kindness for Ireland and the Irish people, because they fare very well. We actually get the great line, “Lord Ballafyn was an Irishman in all things save honor.” This may be why the book was sometimes attributed to a very famouse Irish romance author, Maria Edgeworth.

Here are the chapter titles:

Chapter 21: An Affecting Story continued

Chapter 22: An Affecting Story continued

Chapter 23: Consternation

Chapter 24: Elucidation

Chapter 25: The Hibernian

Chapter 26: Retrospection

Chapter 27: Developement [sic]

Chapter 28: The Haunted Rock

Chapter 29: The Duel

Chapter 30: The Marriage


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