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

XI. Lesser Novelists

§ 8. W. H. Ainsworth

There is far more life and spirit about another author of fiction half-historical, half-terrific, who also owed not a little to the encouragement of Scott. William Harrison Ainsworth has kept some of his popularity, while that of James has faded, because Ainsworth, as little able as was James to unite history with the study of character, had a vigorous imagination and wrote with gusto. Rookwood (1834), Jack Sheppard (1839), The Tower of London (1840), Guy Fawkes (1841), Old St. Paul’s (1841), The Lancashire Witches (1848), The South Sea Bubble (1868): these and others in a very long list of romances can still delight many grown men as well as boys, thanks to their energetic movement and their vivid though rough style of narration.