In the 1870s and 1880s Frances Cashel Hoey briefly won a reputation as a novelist a little cleverer and more serious than the general run. During the same period, and for a decade longer, her many translations from the French helped to keep her name before the public. A select few would also have known her as one of the most prolific reviewers in the Spectator. For a short time, in the early 1870s, she even achieved a degree of notoriety – though again within a limited circle – as supposed collaborator on a number of novels purporting to be the unaided work of Edmund Yates. But chiefly her life and literary endeavours are a saga of unremitting struggle meagrely rewarded, either by fame or by fortune. The last twenty years of her life were spent in obscurity and what she felt to be undeserved neglect. Her financial position, precarious even during her most creative period, when she also had her husband’s earnings to supplement her own, seems to have been always more or less desperate during the sixteen years of her widowhood. The only new editions of her novels were pirated (or so she believed); those of which she still owned the copyright, or could purchase it with her last ten pounds, were never given the chance of attracting the new generation of readers that she hoped for. Though unmistakably a lady of intelligence, vivacity, and resourcefulness, she toiled all her life in depressing proximity to New Grub Street.
One of Mrs Hoey’s proudest memories in old age was of having been introduced, as a young married girl, to the great Daniel O’Connell.1 The meeting must have taken place in 1846 or early 1847, just before O’Connell’s death. Frances Sarah Johnston, born near Dublin on 15 February 1830,2 had married Adam Murray Stewart on her sixteenth birthday, and throughout her life up till then O’Connell (‘the Liberator’) had been uncrowned king of Ireland.
Members of her own family had been active in the uprising of 1798, and when she began her literary career, in 1853, it was as a contributor to two journals closely identified with Irish nationalism, the Freeman’s Journal and the Nation. Most of her associates at this time had been members of Young Ireland, which had led an ineffectual rebellion against British rule in 1848. One of them, William Carleton, gave her introductions to Thackeray and the editor of the Morning Post when she went to London just after the death of her husband in November 1855. Another, Charles Gavan Duffy, had been one of the founders of the Nation and was its editor when Frances Stewart began writing for it; later, after emigrating to Australia and becoming Premier of Victoria, he was to provide John Cashel Hoey with a job, as secretary to the colony’s Agent-General in London, which appears to have been his main source of income for fifteen of the last twenty years of his life. Cashel Hoey, assistant editor of the Nation from 1849 to 1855 and editor in 1856 and 1857, became Frances’s second husband on 6 February 1858.
According to the DNB, Frances Johnston’s father was secretary and registrar to the Mount Jermone cemetry in Dublin and his daughter, one of eight children, was largely self-educated. Her mother had been a Shaw, half-sister of Bernard Shaw’s mother, and if money was as short in the Johnston household as in that of the Shaws, Frances’s parents may have welcomed her early marriage to Adam Murray Stewart (though on the evidence of her novels Frances would never have married but for love – and for imperishable first love). The fact that she took to journalism within seven years of her marriage, at a time when she had two daughters to look after, may indicate that her circumstances remained difficult and that the illness, if illness it was, that carried Stewart off two years later had already incapacitated him. At any rate her decision, immediately after his death, to pursue a literary career in London was presumably governed by the necessity of earning a living as well as by thirst for literary glory.
In the event, however, it seems to have taken her many years to gain even a toehold in the London literary world. The DNB states that in her first two years there, before her second marriage early in 1858, she wrote reviews for the Morning Post and the Spectator, but it is unlikely that her connexion with the Spectator began before 1861, when Richard Holt Hutton, a close friend of her second husband, became editor. Cashel Hoey moved to London a few months after his marriage, having sold his interest in the Nation, of which he was by then editor and part-owner. Three years later he was called to the bar of the Middle Temple, but journalism probably remained his chief occupation -as well as his wife’s – for at least the next ten years. In 1865 he became assistant to the editor of the Dublin Review, W.G. Ward, a position he remained in till 1879, and both he and Frances became occasional contributors to the Review. Though apparently living in London from the time of their marriage, they do not appear to have acquired any permanent home there until 1868, when they moved to 17 Campden Hill Road, Kensington: this remained their residence until John Cashel Hoey’s death in 1892.3
Neither Mrs Hoey’s reminiscences in her letters to Edmund Downey (the richest store of information about tier life), nor other people’s observations of her, throw much light on her literary activities and style of life in the 1850s and 1860s. At the time of Oscar Wilde’s death in 1900, she recalled having held the ‘dreadful wretch’ in her arms just after he was born; later, she said, he had been a playmate, though much younger, of her own children:4 as Wilde was not born till October 1854, however, this would have been possible only if the children remained in Dublin when Frances went to live in London at the beginning of 1856. Presumably it was soon after (or even before) her second marriage that she, and perhaps her husband, began making the long and frequent visits to France that continued, for her, until only a few years before her death.5 As far as I know there is no way of ascertaining what kind of material she contributed to the Morning Post and during what period, and none of her contributions to the Spectator – whenever they began – can be identified before the 1870s. She may have found other outlets for her literary efforts in the early 1860s, but the first contribution to a journal that can be identified definitely as her work was the sensational novella Buried in the Deep, serialized in Chambers‘s Magazine in February 1865. Over the next ten years (not, however, the next thirty as the DNB asserts) Chambers’s published several more stories, two novels, and many reviews by her. In the second half of the sixties she also began contributing to Temple Bar, then edited by Edmund Yates, and her work continued to appear there, infrequently, until the late seventies. Her first published novel, A House of Cards (1868), was serialized in Tinsley‘s Magazine, of which Yates became founding editor after leaving Temple Bar.
A House of Cards is a fairly routine, nondescript sensation story, heavily emphasizing such stock themes as the irresistible power of retributive fate, the ineluctability of hereditary evil, and the delusoriness of man’s (or more specifically, woman’s) belief that early misdeeds or mistakes can be permanently lived down and concealed. Slapdash in both style and structure, the novel gives the impression of having been made to order, perhaps specifically to the editorial order of Yates, whose own novels provide some of the most obvious models for the female character, haunted by her past and by her unwanted son, who is the main centre of consciousness. As a woman Mrs Hoey perhaps evinces a little more sympathy for her peccant heroine than Yates is able to muster for, say, Margaret Dacre in his Land at Last, there is also an individual, and essentially feminine, touch in the sensitive psychological study of the heroine’s blind mother-in-law; and at least one of Mrs Hoey’s most characteristic topics, the power of impending death to concentrate the human mind on the eternal verities of religion, receives its first expression as the villain’s innocent young wife prepares herself for a violent death at his hands. But on the whole A House of Cards is undistinguished even for a first novel, and unusually silly, particularly in its ‘pagan’ fatalism,6 even for a sensation novel of the 1860s.
The reminders of Edmund Yates in A House of Cards, though strong, can be adequately accounted for by his editorial influence and by the ‘house-style’ of Tinsley Brothers, proprietors of the magazine in which the novel was serialized and publishers of it in book-form. Many years later, however, William Tinsley was to publish a series of allegations that may appear to provide a further and altogether more cogent explanation – one that would lead us, indeed, to expect far stronger traces of Yates in her first novel. Tinsley alleged that Mrs Hoey was actually the unacknowledged author of large parts of four Yates novels and of another in its entirety; and all four of the novels of which he credited her with part-authorship – Land at Last (1866), A Forlorn Hope (1867), Black Sheep (1867), and The RockAhead (1868) – were written shortly before A House of Cards began its serialization.
Tinsley’s story and the evidence for and against it are discussed at length in the introduction to my bibliography of Edmund Yates (Victorian Fiction Research Guides, III, 1980, pp. 27-34). The story, first published in print in Tinsley’s Random Recollections of an Old Publisher (1900), was accepted as true by Elizabeth Lee, author of the article on Mrs Hoey in the DNB, but it was subsequently denied by Yates’s son Edmund Smedley Yates and, on three separate occasions, by T.H.S. Escott, a friend of both Yates and Mrs Hoey who asserted that he had heard both of them pronounce it untrue.7 Escott maintained, on the basis of what they had told him, that their collaboration had extended no further than Yates’s having discussed some of his ideas, and sometimes his actual drafts, with Mrs Hoey, whose comments and suggested revisions had usually been made ‘conversationally’ but had occasionally been put in writing as well. Tinsley’s allegation, on this flimsy basis, that Yates and Mrs Hoey had conspired to defraud him by passing off Mrs Hoey’s work as Yates’s – at twice the price that Mrs Hoey would have been able to command under her own name – was castigated by Escott as ‘pure fable’.
At the time when I wrote the introduction to my bibliography of Yates I concluded that on the available evidence it was impossible to decide which, if either, was the true version of the collaboration, Tinsley’s or Escott’s. I noted that Tinsley, on his own admission and probably with good reason, bore Yates a grudge. I also pointed to the difficulty of reconciling his assertion that Mrs Hoey herself betrayed the conspiracy (because she felt Yates had treated her badly) with the fact that they remained friends until her death. And with regard to Tinsley’s most crucial piece of evidence – the fact, or alleged fact, that the manuscript of A Righted Wrong was wholly in Mrs Hoey’s handwriting and that of the other four novels partly in hers and partly in Yates’s – I pointed out that verification is impossible in the absence of the manuscripts themselves: while Tinsley himself undoubtedly had access to them, there appears to be no record of his having shown them to any independent witness. At that stage I had not found any statements by other people to corroborate Tinsley’s charges; but neither had I found any denials, apart from Escott’s.
Since then, however, I have read Mrs Hoey’s correspondence with Edmund Downey, which includes several allusions to the alleged collaboration. Though somewhat cryptic and confusing, these tend to support Tinsley’s account rather than Escott’s -but with one important difference.
Mrs Hoey’s allusions to the matter were prompted by three separate events: the death and funeral of Yates in May 1894, the publication of Tinsley’s Random Recollections in September 1900, and the publication of Downey’s Twenty Years Ago; a Book of Anecdote, Illustrating Literary Life in London in February 1905. Mrs Hoey told Downey that she had had a ‘long interview’ with Yates on the Tuesday before his death (which occurred on Sunday, 20 May 1894). The death had shocked her profoundly, particularly as she was to have dined with him and Mrs Yates at the Oatlands Hotel on the very day of the funeral service – ‘a chapter in the tragi-comedy of life which it is quite impossible that anybody there could have read as I read it, for reasons.’ At the service (on 24 May 1894) she saw Tinsley, obviously for the first time in many years. Tinsley by this time had suffered several bankruptcies and was known to be addicted to the bottle. ‘Poor old Tinsley.” she exclaims, in a postscript to the letter from which I have just quoted. ‘I am so sorry for him. We looked at each other, coming out of the ESavoyH Chapel, and each knew exactly what was in the mind of the other. How badly he was treated by everybody in that clever, unprincipled set, and still worse, I am afraid, by himself.’8 The two passages offer a good sample of the romancing, the delight in mystification which continued to colour Mrs Hoey’s references to the portentous subject. Tantalizingly, and it seems reluctantly, she remained big with her secret for the rest of her life.
The appearance of Tinsley’s Recollections in 1900 at first made her ‘nervous and unhappy about the Yates business’9 and subsequently caused her ‘annoyance’ which she was sure Tinsley himself would have regretted.10 Friends and relatives wrote to her asking her whether she had been ‘”blackmailed” in the matter’.11 A ‘certain publisher’ asserted to one of her friends that she ‘had taken the credit of Mr. Y’s novels, not he of mine’, and this ‘pretty version’ of the story had gained currency in America, perhaps as a result of the efforts of an American whom she had previously reported as having ‘got on the trail of the EY affair’: he may have been the Mr A.M. Bradley who later tried to ‘open up communications with me, which I am sure meant the Tinsley business’.12 So many lies and false conjectures were circulating that she was tempted to tell the true story and to tell it all. She had resolved to do so, ‘if there is another chance’, as early as February 1901, in response to the canard that she rather than Yates was laying false claim to the authorship of the novels. In an undated letter probably written in the second half of 1902 she hinted that she might be willing to write the story for T.P.’s Weekly, of which Downey was then editor and for which she was convinced it would make ‘a grand coup of ex-post facto literary gossip’.
Apparently Downey failed to respond to the suggestion; nor did he avail himself of the opportunity to comment on the matter in his memoirs, Twenty Years Ago, published in 1905 – though the book was dedicated to Mrs Hoey and actually quoted in full (but without naming her as the author) the passage from her letter to him in which she reported her meeting with Tinsley at Yates’s funeral and lamented the bad treatment he had received from ‘that clever unprincipled set’.13 Removed from its context, the passage throws no light at all on the composition of the ‘set’ who so mistreated Tinsley. Thanking Downey for her copy of the book, Mrs Hoey said nothing about the quotation from her letter but complained at the omission of A House of Cards from Downey’s list of promising first novels which appeared in Tinsley’s Magazine; almost in the same breath, however, she shifted to the matter that presumably had been really on her mind all along: ‘I wish the Yates business might turn up again. (When we meet you shall know why) it would be better it should -but this is strictly for you only.’14 The momentousness of her promised disclosures is marked by the regal italics (which recall those she had used earlier when commenting on the ‘tragi-comedy’ by which her planned last dinner with Yates had turned out to be his funeral).
Three and a half years after the appearance of Downey’s memoirs Mrs Hoey herself was dead, and I have found no indication that she did succeed in making the Yates business turn up again in the meantime. Perhaps Downey, when he heard what she wanted to say and why, may have persuaded her that even the fullest and most sympathetic account of the affair would not be certain to redound to her credit and that she would, in any case, gain scant kudos from having helped write a handful of novels by now forgotten, or at best ‘half-forgotten’ – like Black Sheep which had reappeared, in the series Half-Forgotten Novels, in 1904.15
Mrs Hoey’s references to the affair implicitly confirm all but one of Tinsley’s assertions. They make it clear that she did regard herself as author or joint-author of some of Yates’s novels, presumably the ones that Tinsley named. They also lend a decided air of probability to Tinsley’s statement that Mrs Hoey herself had let out the secret of the surreptitious collaboration, presumably because she had felt she was not receiving proper credit or payment for her work. The one important particular that Mrs Hoey apparently rejects in Tinsley’s version of the story is his insistence that he knew nothing about the collaboration until Mrs Hoey told him, that he was in fact a victim rather than an agent of the conspiracy to pass off inferior literary wares as a first-class and recognized product. Mrs Hoey’s rejoinder to this is emphatic but not unequivocal: ‘Tinsley never was deceived – no one wanted to deceive him – he had [?bales] of my copy.’16 Here, in her only comment on this aspect of the matter, Mrs Hoey may be saying either that Tinsley knew all along of the collaboration between Yates and herself, or that she (and perhaps Yates) assumed that he knew, or simply that he should have known (and perhaps that it was his own fault if he didn’t). Tinsley had accused her of having been a party to a fraud, against him and against the public. Understandably, but not altogether convincingly, she denies any fraud, or at least any awareness of fraud, against Tinsley on her part; and as for fraud against the public she would no doubt have argued that the novels produced jointly by her and Yates, or by her on her own, were of just as good quality as Yates’s independent creations, and that one of them, Black Sheep, was probably the most popular and most highly regarded of ‘Yates’s’ novels. Both she and Tinsley tell the story in such a way as to exculpate themselves, she of having, as an author, defrauded her publisher; he of having, as a publisher, defrauded his public. Unless new facts come to light the truth of the matter must remain uncertain: neither Mrs Hoey’s nor Tinsley’s version rings altogether true,17 and Escott’s very different version still cannot be ruled out of court.
A minor mystery connected with the publication of Tinsley’s Recollections is the whereabouts of a letter or review by Yates’s son, Edmund Smedley Yates, evidently defending his father against Tinsley’s aspersions. Smedley’s communication on the matter is referred to cryptically by Mrs Hoey in her letter to Downey of 13 November [?1900]: ‘I wonder no one has observed that E.S.Y. gave himself away by using the word “Hush-money” – Mrs C?HorneH Payne saw it at once.’ I have been unable to find any published letter or review by Smedley Yates at this time, and there is no reference to any in his scrapbook – to which I have recently gained access. There is no mention of Tinsley’s book in the World, of which Smedley Yates was still co-proprietor. Perhaps his comments were made in a private letter – to Mrs Hoey herself or to a mutual friend – which had been seen by Downey, by Mrs C?HorneH Payne, and presumably by other members of Mrs Hoey’s circle. Alternatively, they may have been published in one of the provincial newspapers for which, at various times, Smedley Yates worked as a journalist. It is even conceivable, if Mrs Hoey’s letter offers a fair sample of their contents, that they were published in an American paper, to circumvent English libel laws: this might account for the special interest taken in the matter in America and the annoying importunities of the American newshound, A.M. Bradley, which Mrs Hoey remarks upon in some of her letters to Downey. Certainly, unless he had incontrovertible proof, English libel laws would have made it dangerous for Smedley Yates to accuse Tinsley or Mrs Hoey of accepting ’hush-money’ from his father.
An amusingly garbled account of the story of the alleged collaboration is given by Harry Furniss in his book Some Victorian Women (1923):
I recollect a rather pretty little woman I used to meet at Tinsley’s, the publisher. She wrote for him, but she also wrote other novels, that she declared – and Tinsley assured me he knew her statement to be true – she sold to Edmund Yates, who published them as his own productions. When she died I read with much interest the obituary notice of her written by Yates, which I, reading between the lines, was fully convinced confirmed the strange statement she herself had made. Anyway he never published another novel ….18
In the absence of any other published descriptions of Mrs Hoey, it would be gratifying to be able to accept Furniss’s testimony that she was, in her forties, ‘a rather pretty little woman’; but nearly everything else in the passage is so wrong as to strip him of every shred of credibility. Yates in fact died fourteen years before Mrs Hoey and certainly didn’t compose her obituary before doing so; and far from deserting fiction after his alleged collaboration with her finished, he went on to publish at least nine more novels. Faulty as his memory was, however, it is hard to believe that Furniss can simply have imagined meeting Mrs Hoey and hearing her speak of the collaboration.
Whatever the truth of the matter, the nature and extent of Mrs Hoey’s contribution to novels published under Yates’s name between 1866 and 1870 are too problematic to make it safe to include the novels, or any parts of them, among her works. A Righted Wrong (1870), which she was alleged to have written on her own, certainly reads more like a woman’s, and specifically a Hoey novel than most of Yates’s other novels; but on internal evidence it is hard to believe that she can have been responsible for more than small parts of most of the others: in particular, it seems practically inconceivable that Yates himself was not responsible for nearly all of Black Sheep, though Mrs Hoey could have had a larger hand in A Forlorn Hope.
Mrs Hoey’s remaining ten novels, published during the next twenty years, at gradually lengthening intervals, all conform essentially to the pattern established in her first. Her plots continue to unfold bewilderingly intricate webs of relationship among groups of characters seemingly worlds apart from each other – often divided literally by oceans, as well as by circumstance. The coincidences, whether interpreted as manifestations of providence, fate, romance, or mere accident, become if possible even more marvellous and unpredictable. Weakness and shabby villainy constantly expose virtue, female virtue especially, to pain and moral danger; and deep in the shadows lurk vicious criminals whose blows or revelations produce unexpectedly lurid climaxes to otherwise quite tame third volumes. Heredity is always a major determinant of characters’ vices, and sometimes of their more agreeable talents, and in the age-old tradition of romance inherited qualities frequently signal a character’s true identity to the reader long before it is formally disclosed. Mistakes of identity, resulting particularly from impersonation or the existence of ‘doubles’, are a common source of plot complications. Death, by natural or unnatural means, can always be relied on to remove inconvenient characters, the vicious and the virtuous alike. In her choice of plot materials, Mrs Hoey never outgrew the influence of Dickens, Wilkie Collins, and the sensational potboilers of the 1860s. Mystery and violence, the macabre and the exotic were the lifeblood of her romantic imagination – the same imagination as compelled her, in real life, to make such a tantalizing mystery of her collaboration with Yates, or to invest a sudden journey she made to Paris at the time of the Commune with all the mysterious danger and urgency of an episode from A Tale of Two Cities.19
Despite their preposterous, and often clumsily managed plots, however, the novels are by no means devoid of wit and moral sense. In their treatment of love especially, they ring some surprising and refreshing changes on the conventions of Victorian romance. Though the characters and situations can usually be fitted more or less neatly into the familiar moulds of sentimental fiction (a fact which Mrs Hoey underlines by constantly invoking parallels in the novels of Jane Austen or Dickens, Trollope or Thackeray), the outcomes of the love stories, the distribution of rewards and punishments, and the assessment of what really constitutes a reward and what a punishment for a given pair of lovers often imply a subtle, serious, and unexpected disavowal of sentimental norms. Ostensibly, Mrs Hoey’s own attitudes to love could hardly be more conventional or more conservative. First love is nearly always ineffacable. True lovers are always unselfish and disinterested.
Even the strongest and truest love must be subordinated to duty and self-respect. A true lover remains faithful even when his love is thwarted by circumstance or betrayed by the beloved. Unlike many other popular sentimental novelists, however, Mrs Hoey was well aware that in the real world such absolutism in love (or of love) not only militated against a smooth path for true lovers but was also as likely as not to leave them still unsatisfied at the end of the path. False love, on the other hand, or true love compromised, can be better at clearing the obstacles in its path and at bearing its final disappointments, because it is often suppler, more resilient.
The contrasting fates of the two heroines of A Golden Sorrow (1872) provide the first and one of the best examples of this reversal of conventional expectations. Florence Reeve, one of Mrs Hoey’s ‘angelic’ heroines, marries for love, endures poverty and separation from her husband with patience and fortitude, wears the disguise and performs the duties of a mere maid without any loss of dignity, remains ever sweet, charitable, and self-effacing even when nursing her ogrish father-in-law through his terminal illness, receives, miraculously, his deathbed blessing when she confesses her true identity, and at the peak of her material fortunes finds that even before this he had made a will leaving her almost the whole of his estate as a reward for her nursing. Miriam Clint, her husband’s sister, looks at her best on horseback (usually a bad sign in novels of the 1860s and 1870s), boldly embarks on a mercenary marriage to an old man in order to escape from the household of her appalling father, and suffers the approved punishment when her husband turns out to be mean, jealous, tyrannical, and (it is strongly hinted) brutal in bed – a replica in almost all respects of the father whom he had replaced as her master. Yet at the end of the novel Miriam, the ‘childless wife’, ‘the woman who has never loved’, is rewarded with a husband whom she loves and who loves her, even though by this time she has added to her crimes by inducing her brother to impersonate her recently dead husband and fabricate a will leaving the husband’s estate to her. Florence, a ‘true woman, who incapable of the moral discord implied in deserting her own sphere, assiduously aspires to the best standard of duty and culture within it’, receives no more tangible reward than another man to nurse, this time her husband, whose baby she had borne and lost in its infancy, from whom she has been uncomplainingly separated ever since, and who finally returns to her (from the Californian goldfields) stricken with a fever that produces amnesia, diminished responsibility, and eventually a state of languid imbecility! It appears that Miriam will not be blessed with children, but otherwise her happiness promises to be unclouded except by the plight of her brother and her angelic sister-in-law.
As epigraph to A Golden Sorrow, Mrs Hoey uses Shakespeare’s lines, ”tis better to be lowly born,/ And range with humble livers in content,/Than to be perked up in a glistering grief,/And wear a golden sorrow’. But although the pursuit of gold brings bitter sorrow to Miriam’s brother and for a time to Miriam herself, the alternative rewards allotted to Florence, the lowly born humble-liver, are hardly calculated to recommend themselves to the ordinary reader of sentimental love stories. At first glance, indeed, the novel’s message may appear obscure and probably confused. Reading Mrs Hoey’s other novels, however, one comes to recognize how radically her conception of a ‘happy ending’ can differ from that which her romantic plot-materials and her conventional attitudes to love may seem to predicate. Absolute as the lover’s, and the reader’s, imagination may believe it, the happiness to be found in the fulfilment of human love often turns out disappointing and delusory, and in at least one later novel the heroine ends by stigmatizing her unswerving fidelity to an earthly lover as a form of ‘idolatry’, deflecting her from the only true object of worship. Miriam earns her happy ending, after all her sins, not only by an oddly incomplete act of secular reparation – renouncing all but £5000 of her husband’s estate – but also, and more significantly, by transcending merely secular morality, by learning to mourn, after ‘many sleepless nights’ and ‘long days of perplexity and softening’, not because her ’sin had “found her out”‘ but because ‘she had “done this great wickedness against God'” (Mrs Hoey’s italics). For a shallow nature like Miriam’s, this represents a great step upwards, almost comparable to the miraculous deathbed redemption of her father-in-law. (It makes an interesting contrast to the purely secular repentance, dictated largely by love, of Trollope’s Lady Ongar, who similarly renounced the fortune she had won by a mercenary marriage but also hung on to enough to keep her comfortable.)20 Florence, however, like most of Mrs Hoey’s true heroines, understands instinctively that all human aspirations, including love, must be compounded with love and service to God if they are to escape the taint of selfishness, if they are to give adequate expression to the nobler (Godlike) attributes of human nature.
One of Mrs Hoey’s later novels, The Lover’s Creed (1884), takes its title from the sentimental dictum, ‘One, and one only, is the Lover’s Creed’, but this is a tale in which the heroine, Mavis Reeve (who ‘looks like a saint, and sings like an angel’), and the deserving hero are kept apart simply by a prolonged sequence of accidents, not by any conflicting ties or duties. Like Madeleine Kindersley in Griffith’s Double (1876), perhaps the most idealized and morally impressive of all Mrs Hoey’s heroines, the heroine of The Lover’s Creed lives and loves so sacramentally that Providence appears almost demonstrably her sole guide. Even so, Mavis is vouchsafed the opportunity for a Christlike sacrifice, using herself as decoy for an assassin’s knife that was intended for her pupil (Mavis is Mrs Hoey’s only governess-heroine). In contrast, heroines like Florence, or like the innocently bigamous wife in Falsely True, are given their brief interval of happiness in love before being called upon for their great sacrifice – presumably, for both of them a lifelong sacrifice. The difference appears to be explained chiefly by the faults of the men to whom they give their hearts, faults which Mrs Hoey, obliquely defending her heroines’ taste, is at pains to put down (in Trollopian fashion) to weakness and shabbiness rather than outright evil, even though in one case they lead to bigamy and in the other to forgery. There is no suggestion, however, that the sacrifices and loss of happiness that are visited upon the heroines are to be viewed as a punishment or an expiation; on the contrary, in forgiving and, for as long as possible, serving the men who have wronged them they evidently achieve a reward beside which mere sensual gratification pales.
Another heroine who loves a personable man not quite worthy of her, Janet Monro in All, or Nothing (1879), receives a double reward: saving her beloved husband from a would-be assassin and expiring immediately afterwards from the shock. Already, upon realizing that her husband did not love her as she loved him and was in a state of ‘profound ennui’, she had learnt ‘the ordinary lesson of human experience, that the worship of a human being is idolatry’, and her dying words are ‘Thou shalt have no other gods but Me’; but the novel leaves no doubt that death has no sting for her. Laura, the girl her husband had loved first and always, reflects after Janet’s death that Janet had been ‘worth a million of me’ and her own husband Robert Thornton ‘worth a million of Edward Dunstan’, her lover; ‘yet they are gone, and we are left’. She asks, ‘Why? Ah me! why?’ and Mrs Hoey responds: ‘. . .it did not come to Laura’s mind that perhaps just that difference of value may have furnished the why.’
Though I have stressed the religious element in Mrs Hoey’s love stories, I do not wish to give the impression that she is recognizably a religious novelist, or that she wears her piety on her sleeve like such writers as Charlotte M. Yonge, Elizabeth Sewell, or even Mrs Craik. Rather the reverse. The religious beliefs that inform her treatment of love in many of her novels are generally voiced so quietly and discreetly that they can be overlooked, leaving the reader with the impression of nothing but a rather capricious manipulation of the secular morality of the conventional love story. As a Roman Catholic – born a Protestant but converted at the time of her second marriage – Mrs Hoey certainly wished to propagate her faith. She played an active part in Catholic charities (as well as in such secular ’good causes’ as the Anti-Vivisection League and the Society for Sick Children); she wrote at least one devotional book (Nazareth, 1873); and her private correspondence is full of religious sentiments which never sound merely perfunctory. But in her novels she generally avoids advocating specifically Catholic views. One exception is Out of Court (187M-), which has as its central theme the evil and sacrilege of secular divorce and which openly applauds Ireland for rejecting the institution: opposition to divorce, however, was not confined to Catholics, and most reviewers seem to have seen nothing offensively sectarian in Mrs Hoey’s raising of the subject, nor in the fact that one of the characters who are most outspoken about it is a Protestant whose conversion to Catholicism, when she finds that her ’human love and human wisdom’ avail nothing without ’the Love that is Divine, and the wisdom that is unerring’, is foreshadowed throughout the novel. Later, in The Question of Cain (1882), the villain begins thinking about religion after a conversation with a Roman Catholic priest and, under this providential influence, repeats the Lord’s Prayer to himself just before being bloodily murdered (in the sensational climax to the most sensational of Mrs Hoey’s novels); it also appears that the heroine of the novel may marry one of the priest’s parishioners. And in The Lover’s Creed the hero is a Catholic and the heroine, Mavis Quinn, already ‘struck with great amazement’ after attending a Catholic church for a while, is ’received into the church’ on her supposed death bed – from which she subsequently recovers. Generally however, Mrs Hoey seems to have wished her novels to look little different from the kind of secular sentimental romance that one of the characters in The Lover’s Creed, a woman of forty, writes under the pseudonym of ‘Ignota’:
In her hand was the wand of a magician; it conferred or withheld the heart’s desire of those whom the wielder of it summoned up from phantasmal realms …. She could summon up beautiful images of girlhood, set them in her pages, crown them with glory and honour, enrich them with love, fortune, happiness; or she could gently withdraw them from a world that did not appreciate, or might fail to satisfy them, by that beneficent expedient of early and poetical death which was not absolutely forbidden to the novelist thirty years ago. Psychology and physiology did not hold their terrors over the story-tellers of those days.
In the heyday of Zola (whom she detested) Mrs Hoey was well aware that her kind of novel appeared old hat.
A few other aspects of her fiction are worth brief mention.
For all her connexions with Irish nationalism in the 1840s and 1850s, she never attempted to identify herself as an Irish novelist. Presumably, like Trollope, she recognized that by the 1860s ‘Irish subjects generally EhadH become distasteful to English readers’.21 She must also have known that no English publisher or editor would willingly have provided her with an outlet for the intense nationalism and radically anti-British, antiimperialist feeling that flashes up repeatedly in her letters to her compatriot Edmund Downey. Irish characters figure in a number of the novels, but they are as often weak and disreputable as morally admirable. Irish settings are used extensively only in Out of Court and in three novellas – The Queen’s Token (1875), No Sign (1875), and Ralph Craven’s Silver Whistle (1877) – of which two are historical romances. There is warm praise for the distinctive Irish beauty of one of the women in Falsely True, but nothing but scorn for the other Irish woman who appears in the same novel, a ‘sordid, grovelling, selfish’ actress who is compared to Becky Sharp. In Out of Court the ‘intonation’ of the Irish gentry is carefully distinguished from the ‘brogue’ with which it is sometimes ‘confounded’, even by writers who know Ireland, and the Irish peasantry are represented as possessing ‘neither the brutal density of the English, nor the cold, suspicious, self-sufficing reserve of the Scottish lower orders, wherewith to disgust, repel, and mortify’. The bigamous Irish hero of Falsely True, though a ‘dreamer’ and graceful almost to the point of prettiness and effeminacy, at least has the knack of ‘getting on’ with foreigners which the English, being ’less adaptive and tolerant’, lack. English insolence towards foreigners, and particularly towards subject races, also comes in for acidulous criticism from time to time: in The Question of Cain, for example, the response of a Parisian concierge to the haughtiness and insularity of English visitors is eloquently rendered, and in The Blossoming of an Aloe (1875) the ’cruelties’ of the British in India after the Mutiny, and the ‘fine Britannic insolence’ which cannot believe that a ‘slight knowledge of [India] and the history of its people’ might benefit its rulers, are roundly condemned. As a journalist, however, Mrs Hoey carefully avoids offending English sensitivities even when reporting such an event as Edward VII’s visit to Dublin in 1903;22 whereas her private correspondence, around the same time, bristles with bitter denunciations of British policy in Ireland (particularly under Balfour), British atrocities in China and South Africa (the latter under the command of the renegade Irishman Kitchener), and British foreign policy’s fatuous jealousy and distrust of France. In her novels, too, her Irishness is so muted that when T.P. O’Connor was compiling his Cabinet of Irish Literature, consisting of biographies of and extracts from contemporary Irish writers, he had to ask her husband, who had already been chosen for inclusion, whether she also was Irish: O’Connor’s impression was that she was not.23 No such doubt could have existed about the nationality of her cousin Bernard Shaw.’
Except in relation to Ireland, Mrs Hoey’s political, social, and moral attitudes appear to have been generally conservative. As a lifelong Francophile and student of French history, however, she was able to withstand a firsthand experience of the Paris Commune without the frenzies of horror it aroused in so many English people; and while her novels and journalism contain denunciations of trends in modern life that she finds disagreeable -the Aesthetic and women’s rights movements, the decline of feminine modesty, the shiftless langour of modern young men, the growing tolerance of marital infidelity in London society, the filth of Zolaism – she can also speak feelingly, and with unexpected cynicism, about the ancient wrongs of women, the fickleness of men’s love, and the silliness of many of the restraints women were expected to impose on their emotions. For example, in the novel aptly called The Lover’s Creed, a lyrical proposal-scene, enacted in ‘the good old style’ as Mrs Hoey approvingly notes, is followed by a little dialogue in which the triumphant hero, who must leave immediately for the war, concedes that the separation may be worse for the woman he leaves behind than for himself and adds, with apparently gratuitous bitterness, ‘They always say so; they do that much justice to women, at all costs’. To which Mrs Hoey appends her own caustic comment: ‘It is surprising what broad views of the virtues and sufferings of the whole female sex a man will take when he is in love; it is equally remarkable how his vision contracts when he has got out of love.’ Coming as it does after a model proposal from an obviously sincere young man, the comment must raise questions in the reader’s mind about Mrs Hoey’s own experiences of love and marriage and the, for the most part hidden, intensity of her feminist feelings. Perhaps her first, shortlived marriage turned out badly, and even her second, though she always professed the profoundest love and respect for her husband before and after his death, may have had serious drawbacks: however loving he may or may not have remained, the evidence of his wife’s chronic shortage of money suggests that he may have been a rather poor provider, not always given to sharing his worldly goods with her.
Mrs Hoey’s novels throw a clearer light on some other aspects of her life and character. These include her love of theatre – which emerges both explicitly and implicitly in the novels and is confirmed in the ’Lady’s Letter’ which she contributed to the Australasian for many years – and her interest, in her later years at least, in psychic phenomena: this found expression in her lively and sympathetic portrayal of a ’modern’ young lady with apparently psychic powers, Amabel Ainslie in All, or Nothing, and later in the remarkable extended dream, seemingly both telepathic and premonitory, which precipitates three weeks of brain fever in the heroine of A Stern Chase (1886), perhaps under the influence of a temporary transmigration of her soul into her brother’s body (or of his into hers). That Mrs Hoey believed in the possibility of such experiences is borne out by her letters to Rosa Praed, in connexion with Mrs Praed’s ’spiritualist’ novel Nyria (1904).24
One of the major weaknesses of Mrs Hoey’s novels is their frequent plundering of other people’s travel-books for local colour, and often indeed for considerable wordage. (It is obviously no coincidence that at the time when her novels were written she was chief reviewer of travel books for both the Spectator and Chambers’s Journal.) In Falsely True the long and lurid episode set in Brazil relies for its evocation of that country on extensive quotations from a book by St Hilaire. Sir Charles Dilke’s Greater Britain supplies the extensive descriptions of Ceylon in All, or Nothing, W.H. Russell’s despatches from the Crimea and Westgarth’s history of Victoria are heavily drawn on for the two exotic settings in The Lover’s Creed, and Walter Goodman’s The Pearl of the Antilles effectually provides the whole setting and many of the characters and incidents for the first volume of A Stern Chase. All of these borrowings are acknowledged in the novels, but only Goodman seems to have been applied to beforehand for permission to quote from his book. Writing to Dilke just after the publication of All, or Nothing, Mrs Hoey hoped that he would not be ‘annoyed’ with her for having borrowed ‘without leave, but not without acknowledgment’, from his Greater Britain; she conceded that perhaps she ought to have asked for his permission, but she had not liked to trouble him;25 a surprisingly casual attitude to plagiarism in an author who showed herself, both in the Yates affair and in her dealings with publishers towards the end of her life, so anxious to receive proper credit and reward for her work.
I have already mentioned Mrs Hoey’s practice of alluding to the novels of Jane Austen, Dickens, Trollope, and Thackeray for parallels to her own characters and situations. Of these novelists, only Trollope can be regarded as having significantly ’influenced’ her own art. In their general shape, her plots are in the Dickensian tradition as modified by the sensation novelists of the 1860s, and her occasional use of multiple narrators, notably in Griffith’s Double, is presumably in imitation of Wilkie Collins. The likenesses she draws attention to between her characters and those of Jane Austen or Thackeray usually appear slight and coincidental, and there is little in common between her staple plot materials and theirs. Trollope’s novels, on the other hand, seem to have provided specific models or points of departure for a number of her own plots and subplots. In the short story ‘Esau’s Choice’, the heroine has been reading Trollope’s Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite (‘the most melancholy of [his] fictions, with the exception of his Macdermots of Ballycloran’), and throughout the story her fate, after being jilted by her lover, is measured against that of Trollope’s heroine. In The Question of Cain a party of ladies are robbed of their jewels; the mastermind behind the robbery has been a guest at the same house-party as the ladies; and one lady in the novel refers to family jewels as part of a wife’s ‘paraphernalia’: all these details closely and unmistakably recall Trollope’s The Eustace Diamonds. In Out of Court, the villain is likened to George Vavasour, the villain of Trollope’s Can You Forgive Her?, but his real prototype in that novel is Burgo Fitzgerald, whose tactics in trying to estrange Lady Glencora Palliser from her sobersided husband he copies in almost every detail (and with ultimate success): luring her into a flirtation, persuading her to waltz outrageously with him at a ball – to the consternation of her husband (a public man like Palliser) who comes to take her home at the height of her excitement – and relying on the husband’s anger and the wife’s wounded pride to send her fleeing into his more welcoming arms. It comes as no surprise, in the light of such borrowings, to learn that Mrs Hoey wrote one of the first major critical articles on Trollope, ‘The Novels of Mr. Anthony Trollope’, Dublin Review, October 1872.26
Although all, or nearly all,27 of Mrs Hoey’s novels were serialized before being published in three-volume form, and most subsequently appeared in one-volume editions, it is clear that she never succeeded In making a living out of them. The publisher Tinsley stated that in 1870 his rate of payment to Mrs Hoey for a novel was less than £200, presumably for book rights only;28 assuming that serial rights brought her in no more than another £200,29 her total return on a novel was probably £400 at the most. As she produced on average one novel every two years, her annual income from this source probably seldom exceeded £200, unless (as seems unlikely) her popularity increased after 1870. During the period when all her novels appeared, 1868-90, she also contributed stories to magazines, but not with great frequency. Her receipts from this source probably made only a marginal addition to her total income: the publisher Richard Bentley’s Author’s Ledger shows that she received only £13/10/- for ‘The Heiress of Moate’ and £9/10/- for ‘A Modern Vendetta’, both published in Temple Bar; for a four-part novella and a two-part story published in Chambers’s Journal in 1865 she received a total of £31/15/-, for a two-part story in 1867, £12/6/-, for a novella in five chapters in 1868, £28/5/-, for a novella in three chapters in 1869, £20, and finally for a two-part story in 1874, £11/5/-.30
In the 1870s and 1880s, however, Mrs Hoey probably made as much from other forms of literary activity as the £200 or so a year from her fiction. Bentley paid her as much as £60 for her translations of French books, of which she produced, on average, more than one a year throughout the 1870s and 1880s (some of them in collaboration with John Lillie). For her translation of The Correspondence of Prince Talleyrand and King Louis XVIII (1881), which had to be done at breakneck speed, Bentley agreed to pay her no less than 140 guineas (70 guineas per volume), though in the event she was unable to carry out the work quickly enough and received only £40 for translating the first volume, the second being assigned to another translator.31 In 1892 The Author described Mrs Hoey as ‘the best translator living’,32 and her services remained in demand in the 1890s and into the early 1900s, well after she had ceased writing novels. For Bentley, and later for Edmund Downey (Downey and Ward), Mrs Hoey also from time to time read manuscripts, though her income from this source must have been minute. And the Bentley Archives show that as well she sometimes ’revised’ or ‘edited’ other people’s novels, translations, or articles.33 But her most regular and assured sources of income for most of her working life were almost certainly the fortnightly ’Lady’s Letter’ that she contributed to The Australasian (Melbourne) from 1874 till shortly before her death – and her reviews, subleaders, and pars in The Spectator, which probably began to appear in 1861 or earlier and which continued until 1895. During the years covered by the editor, Richard Hutton’s ‘Record of Articles’ in The Spectator (1874-7 and 1880-97 ),34 Mrs Hoey had at least one and often two contributions in most numbers, though with frequent breaks – presumably when she was overseas or out of London; if her output during these years was typical, her income from The Spectator can hardly have been much less than £100 per year. As well as her ‘Lady’s Letter’ for The Australasian, Mrs Hoey for many years reviewed the Royal Academy and other exhibitions of paintings for the paper: in August 1902, when she had to give the job up because she could no longer ‘stand the fatigue of the Press Views’, it had been contributing an extra £40 per year to her income.35
The Bentley Archives include a report by Geraldine Jewsbury on a novel submitted for publication by Mrs Hoey in December 1871. Entitled Chapter and Verse, the novel struck Jewsbury as ‘clever’ but ‘dry’, ‘not entertaining’. She complained of too much ‘description’, and a too tangled plot with too many ‘loose ends . . . from the Past’. Without having read the manuscript right through, she recommended that Bentley refuse it.36 Except for the tangled plot, the faults noted by Jewsbury are hardly typical of Mrs Hoey’s published novels, but they can be found in one, The Blossoming of an Aloe, which was serialized in late 1874 and published in book form, not by Bentley, in 1875. The rejection of the novel by Bentley, with whom she had a connexion of several years’ standing, must have been a severe blow to Mrs Hoey, at a time when she was beginning to establish herself as a novelist. She must have been similarly dismayed when, a few years later, Chambers rejected her ‘French adventure’, Piccolo, for publication in Chambers’s Journal, accusing her of ‘padding’, and compounding the insult with some rather heavy facetiousness.37
With an income from her literary labours of probably £400 or more, in addition to what her husband earned as a barrister and journalist, and as Secretary to the Agent-General for Victoria, it is not immediately apparent why Mrs Hoey was always short of money. But the remark of a writer in The Author that she was ‘generous to a fault’ may point to the explanation. Charity is one of the cardinal virtues of all her more exemplary heroines, and her own commitment to it is shown by her writings for various charitable causes. The dedication of her novel All, or Nothing also suggests that, as well as her two daughters (until their marriages in the 1870s), her household included her husband’s mother, who died in 1878. She probably contributed, in addition, to the support of her own mother, who did not die until 1890. After her husband’s death, and until her own, she continued to provide for a distant relative of his who had no real claim on either of them.
Whatever its causes, her relative poverty seems to have left her no alternative but to beg for any scraps of work that publishers could spare her and to continue slaving away at her desk regardless of personal griefs (such as those occasioned by the deaths, in 1878, of both her elder daughter and her mother-in-law) and frequent illness (headache, flu, eyestrain, fever, depression). At a time when her earnings must have been near their peak, Bentley twice had to write off money advanced to her, under the heading of ‘bad and doubtful debts’;38 and Chambers had to threaten her with legal action to recover £20 which she owed him when she abruptly stopped contributing to Chambers’s Journal.39) The protracted illness and expensive surgery that preceded her husband’s death at the beginning of 1892 probably delivered the coup de grace to their already tottering fortunes. Later in 1892 she was voted a Civil list pension of £50 a year.
As far as I can ascertain Mrs Hoey published no more fiction of any consequence after her husband’s death, and her output of translations, reviews and other journalistic pieces gradually declined during the 1890s. Her last translation, unsigned, appeared in 1901, and apart from occasional contributions to The World and her ‘Lady’s Letter’ in The Australasian I have found nothing that she published after the turn of the century. New, revised editions of two of her novels, Falsely True and The Question of Cain, had been issued by Ward and Downey in 1890, after John Cashel Hoey had bought back the copyright from Tinsley. Subsequently however, the copyright was sold to R.E. King Ltd when the partnership between Ward and Downey was dissolved, and in 1900 Mrs Hoey had the mortification of seeing King’s new editions of the two novels on sale and receiving none of the proceeds herself – even though she insisted that she and her husband had never relinquished the copyright to Downey.40 This was only one of several fiascos arising from her efforts to ensure that she would profit by any revival of interest in her fiction. In a letter to Downey on 10 February 1900, after complaining angrily because he had sought a second opinion as to the wisdom of publishing her proposed translation of Balzac’s letters, she asserted that his firm had prevented her from ‘securing [her] novels from extinction, by telling her for years that they were considering republishing them. Five days later, on her seventieth birthday, she retracted the charge to the extent of exonerating Downey from personal blame, but for the next few years her letters repeatedly take him to task for his dilatoriness: in refusing to make a firm decision to republish The Blossoming of an Aloe and No Sign, in failing to respond to Mrs Hoey’s subsequent plan to offer A House of Cards and No Sign to Collins, and then in failing – and apparently being finally unable – to produce the plates and unsold copies of the two books, for which, along with the copyright, Mrs Hoey had paid £30 in 1900 and which were supposed to be in Downey’s keeping. As late as August 1904, she overdrew at her bank in order to purchase the copyright, and some plates, moulds, or unsold copies, of three of her books, A Stern Chase, Our of Court, and a Golden Sorrow.41 But apart from King’s ‘vile edition (without a date)’ of Falsely True and The Question of Cain, none of her novels appears to have been reissued after 1890.
Consenting to read a manuscript Downey had been sent by a tyro novelist, she commented ruefully: ‘The faint remembrance of the little bit of success I had in the years that are now a dream, makes me feel keenly for a woman’s failure to get a hearing for what has cost the effort implied by the writing of a novel.’42 That was in 1895, when she was 65. As she approached and passed her seventieth birthday, she became increasingly sensitive to the disrespectful neglect she felt she suffered at the hands of Downey and Co and to the slights of former friends and proteges of hers and her husband’s. In the latter category, the failure of T.P. O’Connor even to reply to her request for work on his new paper T.P.’s Weekly, established in 1902, rankled for years.43
Mrs Hoey’s letters to Downey, which, ceased three years before her death, were written from various lodging houses in London; from various addresses in Bath, including those of friends’ houses; from Boulogne or other places in France (where she spent part of the summers of 1900, 1901, 1903, and 1904); from the houses of her younger daughter or other members of her family in Ireland; and from various addresses in Malvern, which she had begun to visit with her husband some time before his death. Part of the attraction of both Bath and Malvern appears to have been their neighbouring Benedictine monasteries. Her death took place at Beccles in Suffolk on 9 July 1908, but how long she had resided there I have not been able to discover. She was buried, according to DNB, in the churchyard of the Benedictine church at Little Malvern. The net value of her personal estate was £19/4/-.
(Note. Since completing the above account of Mrs Hoey’s life and work, I have come upon eight manuscript letters she wrote to the novelist and publisher Grant Richards during the last three years of her life. These show that despite continual bouts of illness she was still reviewing books for The World as late as the beginning of 1908, the year of her death. The letters, along with Richards’s letters to her, are in The Archives of Grant Richards: see below, p.62. I have also come upon a letter to Mrs Hoey from the publishers Swan Sonnenschein and Co., dated 29 September 1899, rejecting a manuscript by Mrs Hoey entitled Coercion: if this was a novel, it presumably indicates that Mrs Hoey persevered with fiction for some considerable time after the publication of His Match, and More , which appears to have been her last published novel or novella. The Archives of Swan Sonnenschein are also listed on p.62 below.)
- She recalled the event in an unpublished letter to the publisher Edmund Downey, 12 January [?1903 ?1904]. Her letters to Downey are in the National Library of Ireland. MSS 10,028,1-2. [↩]
- DNB gives 14 Feb 1830 as her date of birth, but in a letter to Downey dated 15 Feb 1900 she states that she had turned 70 that day. [↩]
- Before 1859 the Hoeys were not listed in the London Post Office Directory, presumably because they were not ‘householders’ until their move to Campden Hill Road. The Authors’ Ledgers of the publishers W. and R. Chambers – among the Chambers Papers on temporary deposit in the National Library of Scotland (TD 1709) – show that Mrs Hoey lived at 18 Denbigh Street, Pimlico from Jan 1865 to July 1867, at various other lodgings from Jan 1868 to the end of May 1868, and at Campden Hill Road from some time in June 1868. [↩]
- Letter to Downey, undated. [↩]
- Her letters to Downey (1887-1905) and to the publisher Bentley (1871-[?1894]) are often dated from French addresses, as is her ‘Lady’s Letter’ in the Australasian (1873-[?1908]). [↩]
- The fatalism of the sensation novel was denounced in a controversial lecture by the Archbishop of York. See the Times, 4 Nov 1864, p.6. [↩]
- In my bibliography of Edmund Yates, I refer to only two accounts by Escott: in his books Mastersof English Journalism (1911) and Anthony Trollope (1913). I have since come across a third: in his Great Victorians (1916), p.347. [↩]
- Letters to Downey, 30 June and 7 July 1894. [↩]
- Letter to Downey, postmarked 13 Sep [?1900]. [↩]
- Letters to Downey, 13 Nov [?1900] and 5 Feb [?1901]. [↩]
- Letter to Downey, 13 Nov [?1900]. [↩]
- Letters to Downey, 5 Feb [?1901], 4 Jan 1901, and undated [second half of 1902]. [↩]
- Twenty Years Ago, p.46. [↩]
- Letter to Downey, undated [?Feb 1905]. [↩]
- E.A. Baker, who wrote an introduction to the 1904-reprint, said nothing about Mrs Hoey’s supposed joint-authorship of the novel. [↩]
- Letter to Downey, 13 Sep [?1900]. [↩]
- Tinsley’s Recollections were not widely noticed, and few of the notices commented on his charges against Yates and Mrs Hoey. One that did – sceptically – appeared in the Pall Mall Gazette, 31 Oct 1900, p.l, over the signature ‘W.F.W.’. Among other embarrassing questions it asked why, if Mrs Hoey could write ‘remunerative “Yates'”, she could only write ‘unsuccessful “Hoey”‘. A more guarded reference to the matter occurs at the end of the Spectator review of Tinsley’s book (17 Nov 1900, p.718): ‘He who sells an old book as a new one; he who undertakes a collaboration, leaves the whole of the work to his partner, but lets his sole name appear on the title page; and he who takes money for work that he never performs are “rogues in grain”.’ It was natural that the Spectator should condemn Yates and side with Mrs Hoey, who until recently had been on its own staff. [↩]
- Some Victorian Women, p.9. [↩]
- On 8 Apr 1871 Mrs Hoey wrote to George Bentley, publisher of Temple Bar: ‘Strictly private./ My dear Mr. Bentley,/ I am going to Paris, on a mission for a friend of mine – to rescue papers of immense importance. No one in the world knows I am going. I shall [?contrive] to see a good deal. Keep a little space in Temple Bar for May, but do not tell any one by whom it is filled.’ (Mrs Hoey’s underlining) Articles on the Paris commune by Mrs Hoey did subsequently appear in the Spectator and Saint Pauls, but none in Temple Bar. [↩]
- Trollope, The Claverings (1867). [↩]
- Trollope, An Autobiography (1883). World’s Classics paperback edition, 1980, p.156. [↩]
- Cf. ‘A Lady’s Letter from London’, The Australasian, 5 Sep 1903, p.558. [↩]
- Letter from T.P. O’Connor to John Cashel Hoey, undated (National Library of Ireland, MSS 10,028). Vol 4 of The Cabinet of Irish Literature, comp. O’Connor and Charles A. Read, appeared in 18 82. It includes an extract from Mrs Hoey’s story No Sign. [↩]
- The eight letters, written July-Aug 1904, are among the Rosa Praed papers in the Oxley Memorial Library, Brisbane. [↩]
- Letter dated 14 Mar 1879. BM Add. ms. 43910, f.261. [↩]
- In the Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, vol 2, the article is attributed to Mrs Hoey only conjecturally, but the case for believing it hers is greatly strengthened by the close, and broad, familiarity with Trollope’s work that she shows in her novels. [↩]
- I have not found serializations of Falsely True (1870) or Out of Court (1874). [↩]
- Tinsley, Random Recollections, p.141. [↩]
- For the serialization of A Golden Sorrow in Chambers’s Journal (21 instalments) she received a total of £185/15/-. For The Blossoming of an Aloe also in Chambers’s (18 instalments), she received £134/17/-.’CEJ Authors’ Ledgers’, Chambers Papers. [↩]
- The Archives of Richard Bentley and Son. British Library. Microfilm, Cambridge: Chadwyck-Healey, 1976, Part 1, Reels 1-2. ‘CEJ Authors’ Ledgers’, Chambers Papers. [↩]
- Bentley Archives. British Library. Microfilm, Part 1, Reel 41. [↩]
- The Author, 2 (Jan 1892): 248. [↩]
- See below, V.ii, BOOKS . . . ‘REVISED’ BY FCH. [↩]
- I am grateful to the archivist of the Spectator for allowing me to consult the Record. [↩]
- Letter to Downey, 13 Aug 1902. See also below, VI, JOURNALISM, for details of Mrs Hoey’s income from her contributions to Chambers’s Journal, 1865-75. [↩]
- 36 Bentley Archives. British Library. Part 1, Reel 48. [↩]
- ‘Letter Book 1874-6’, p.157. Chambers Papers. [↩]
- Bentley Archives. British Library, Microfilm, Part 1, Reel 2. Author’s Ledger, vol 5, p.46. [↩]
- Mrs Hoey ceased contributing regularly to Chambers’s in late 1874. In Dec 1874 Chambers rejected her review of Dr. Livingstone’s Last Journal and in Mar 1875 both her novel, Piccolo, and her review of On the Shores of Zuider Zee (by Henry Havard). In his letter rejecting the latter he referred disapprovingly to her refusal to ’sanction editorial revisal’, which all editors reserve ’the power of exercising’. No doubt Mrs Hoey began to feel discouraged. At any rate, requests from Chambers for further contributions in July and Oct 1875 elicited only one ’digest’ of a travel-book (published in the journal on 23 Oct 1875). On 17 Nov 1876 Chambers wrote to Mrs Hoey demanding either repayment of £20 he had advanced Mrs Hoey or further contributions in lieu. He acknowledged receipt of the £20 on 28 March 1877. (Chambers Papers, Letter Books, 1874-6 and 1877-91. [↩]
- Letters to Downey (2), undated [?early 1900]. [↩]
- Letter to Downey, 8 Aug 1904. [↩]
- Letter to Downey, 11 May 1895. [↩]
- Letters to Downey, 1902-5, passim. [↩]