The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XII. The Romantic Revival.

XI. Lesser Novelists

§ 3. Thomas Henry Lister

Letitia Elizabeth Landon, the poet, scarcely survives now as a novelist, although Ethel Churchill, her last and best attempt in fiction (1837), may take its place among the second-rate novels of the day. So, too, may the Granby (1826) of Thomas Henry Lister. Lister was a rather ladylike novelist, which, perhaps, accounts for the erroneous attribution to him of Mrs. Cradock’s novel, Hulse House. But there is good work in Granby, with its fine, manly hero and its baseborn, reckless, but not unattractive villain. Lister moves easily among titles of nobility, and, in the course of this story, presents us with an aristocratic coxcomb whom it is difficult not to regard as a perverted Darcy. Lister is clever at smart conversation, which seems to have been much valued in its own day, however tiresome it may appear now; and he succeeds in conveying an impression of a real world, inhabited by real people. He has his interest, therefore, for the student of external manners.

Meanwhile, the novel of terror, of which Jane Austen had made fun in Northanger Abbey, continued to flourish, though in a modified form; and women were prominent among those who wrote this kind of fiction. It was a woman, and a woman of a later period in its history, who produced the finest work of genius to be found in this class of writings, Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus (1818).