Minerva Press

Last updated
Minerva Press
StatusDefunct
Founder William Lane
Country of origin United Kingdom
Headquarters location London, England
Distribution United Kingdom
Publication types Books

Minerva Press was a publishing house, noted for creating a lucrative market in sentimental and Gothic fiction in the late 18th century and early 19th century. It was established by William Lane (c. 1745–1814) at No 33 Leadenhall Street, London, when he moved his circulating library there in about 1790. [1]

Contents

Publications

Many of his regular writers were female, including Regina Maria Roche ( The Maid of Hamlet , 1793; Clermont , 1798); Mrs. Eliza Parsons ( The Castle of Wolfenbach , 1793; The Mysterious Warning , 1796); E. M. Foster; and Eleanor Sleath ( The Orphan of the Rhine , 1798) whose Gothic fiction is included in the list of the seven Northanger Horrid Novels, recommended by the character Isabella Thorpe in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. Six of the Northanger Seven were published by Minerva. It was still not quite the right thing for a lady to write books, and so many titles were published anonymously, including such novels as Count Roderic's Castle (1794), The Haunted Castle (1794), The Animated Skeleton (1798) and The New Monk (1798), [2] and the five novels of Helen Craik. Authors such as Emma Parker ("Emma de Lisle") and Amelia de Beauclerc, who wrote for Minerva Press in the 1800s, [3] are obscure today, and the market for Minerva's books became negligible after the death of its charismatic founder.

Lane was succeeded as proprietor of the Minerva Press by his partner, Anthony King (A. K.) Newman, who gradually dropped the Minerva name from his books' title pages during the 1820s. Later books published by the press bear the imprint "A. K. Newman & Co." [4]

In the 20th century, the name Minerva Press has appeared at least once, unconnected with the original firm, e. g. Minerva Press, Delhi. [5]

Valancourt Books reprints

Valancourt Books began reprinting Minerva Press titles in 2005, beginning with their first release, the anonymously written The Animated Skeleton. They have gone on to print over twenty of these titles, mostly with scholarly introductions. [6]

See also

Notes

  1. Blakey, Dorothy (1935). The Minerva Press, 1790-1820. Bibliographical Society at the University Press, Oxford. p. 40.
  2. A parody of The Monk (1796) by Matthew Lewis
  3. ODNB entry for Emma Parker by Isobel Grundy.Retrieved 13 August 2012. Pay-walled.
  4. Victorian Research. Retrieved 25 December 2020.
  5. India Times.
  6. Valancourt Books.Minerva Press titles.


Related Research Articles

Gothic fiction Horrific, romantic style of English literature

Gothic fiction, sometimes called Gothic horror in the 20th century, is a genre of literature and film that covers horror, death and at times romance. It is said to derive from the English author Horace Walpole's 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto, later subtitled "A Gothic Story". Early contributors included Clara Reeve, Ann Radcliffe, William Thomas Beckford and Matthew Lewis. It tends to stress emotion and a pleasurable terror that expands the Romantic literature of the time. The common "pleasures" were the sublime, which indescribably "takes us beyond ourselves." Such extreme Romanticism was popular throughout Europe, especially among English and German-language authors. Its 19th-century success peaked with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and work by E. T. A. Hoffmann, Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens, and in poetry with Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Also prominent was the later Dracula by Bram Stoker. The name Gothic spread from the Goths to mean "German". It also draws in Gothic architecture of the European Middle Ages, where many of the stories occur. Twentieth-century contributors include Daphne du Maurier, Stephen King, Shirley Jackson, Anne Rice and Toni Morrison.

<i>Northanger Abbey</i> Novel by Jane Austen

Northanger Abbey is a coming-of-age novel and a satire of Gothic novels written by Jane Austen. It was completed in 1803, the first of Austen's novels completed in full, but was published posthumously in 1817 with Persuasion. The story concerns Catherine Morland, the naïve young protagonist, and her journey to a better understanding of herself and of the world around her.

Matthew Lewis (writer) English Gothic writer

Matthew Gregory Lewis was an English novelist and dramatist, whose writings are often classified as "Gothic horror". He was frequently referred to as "Monk" Lewis, because of the success of his 1796 Gothic novel The Monk. He also worked as a diplomat, politician and an estate owner in Jamaica.

<i>The Mysteries of Udolpho</i> 18th century gothic novel

The Mysteries of Udolpho, by Ann Radcliffe, appeared in four volumes on 8 May 1794 from G. G. and J. Robinson of London. Her fourth and most popular novel, The Mysteries of Udolpho tells of Emily St. Aubert, who suffers misadventures that include the death of her mother and father, supernatural terrors in a gloomy castle, and machinations of an Italian brigand. Often cited as the archetypal Gothic novel, The Mysteries of Udolpho appears prominently in Jane Austen's 1817 novel Northanger Abbey, where an impressionable young woman reader comes to see friends and acquaintances as Gothic villains and victims, with amusing results.

Regina Maria Roche (1764–1845) is considered today to be a minor Gothic novelist who wrote in the shadow of Ann Radcliffe. She was, however, a bestseller in her own time. The popularity of her third novel, The Children of the Abbey, rivalled that of Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho.

Francis Lathom was a British gothic novelist and playwright.

Clermont is a Gothic novel by Regina Maria Roche. It was first published in 1798 by the sensationalist Minerva Press.

Eliza Parsons was an English Gothic novelist, best known for The Castle of Wolfenbach (1793) and The Mysterious Warning (1796). These are two of the seven Gothic titles recommended as reading by a character in Jane Austen's novel Northanger Abbey.

The Castle of Wolfenbach (1793) is the most famous novel written by the English Gothic novelist Eliza Parsons. First published in two volumes in 1793, it is among the seven "horrid novels" recommended by the character Isabella Thorpe in Jane Austen's novel Northanger Abbey and an important early work in the genre, predating Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho and Monk Lewis's The Monk.

Dear creature! How much I am obliged to you; and when you have finished Udolpho, we will read The Italian together; and I have made out a list of ten or twelve more of the same kind for you.

Have you, indeed! How glad I am! What are they all?

I will read you their names directly; here they are, in my pocketbook. Castle of Wolfenbach, Clermont, Mysterious Warnings, Necromancer of the Black Forest, Midnight Bell, Orphan of the Rhine, and Horrid Mysteries. Those will last us some time.

Yes, pretty well; but are they all horrid, are you sure they are all horrid?

The Necromancer; or, The Tale of the Black Forest is a Gothic novel by Ludwig Flammenberg first published in 1794. It is one of the seven 'horrid novels' lampooned by Jane Austen in Northanger Abbey, once thought not to exist except in the text of Northanger Abbey.

<i>The Midnight Bell</i> Gothic novel by Francis Lathom

The Midnight Bell is a gothic novel by Francis Lathom. It was first published anonymously in 1798 and has, on occasion, been wrongly attributed to George Walker. It was one of the seven "horrid novels" lampooned by Jane Austen in her novel Northanger Abbey.

Dear creature! How much I am obliged to you; and when you have finished Udolpho, we will read the Italian together; and I have made out a list of ten or twelve more of the same kind for you.

Have you, indeed! How glad I am! What are they all?

I will read you their names directly; here they are, in my pocketbook. Castle of Wolfenbach, Clermont, Mysterious Warnings, Necromancer of the Black Forest, Midnight Bell, Orphan of the Rhine, and Horrid Mysteries. Those will last us some time.

Yes, pretty well; but are they all horrid, are you sure they are all horrid?

Northanger Abbey, ch. 6

The Orphan of the Rhine was a gothic novel by Eleanor Sleath, listed as one of the seven "horrid novels" by Jane Austen in her novel Northanger Abbey.

The Horrid Mysteries, subtitled "A Story From the German Of The Marquis Of Grosse" is a translation by Peter Will of the German Gothic novel Der Genius by Carl Grosse. It was listed as one of the seven "horrid novels" by Jane Austen in her Northanger Abbey and also mentioned by Thomas Love Peacock in Nightmare Abbey. It was first published by the sensationalist Minerva Press in 1796. A later, two-volume edition published by Robert Holden and Co., Ltd. in 1927 includes a new introductory essay by Montague Summers. The books were bound in pictoral boards, and feature a period-style "advertisement" for Pears' Soap on the rear cover.

<i>The Mysterious Warning, a German Tale</i>

The Mysterious Warning, a German Tale is a novel by the English gothic novelist Eliza Parsons. It was first published in 1796 and is one of the seven "horrid novels" lampooned in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey.

Dear creature! How much I am obliged to you; and when you have finished Udolpho, we will read the Italian together; and I have made out a list of ten or twelve more of the same kind for you.

Have you, indeed! How glad I am! What are they all?

I will read you their names directly; here they are, in my pocketbook. Castle of Wolfenbach, Clermont, Mysterious Warnings, Necromancer of the Black Forest, Midnight Bell, Orphan of the Rhine, and Horrid Mysteries. Those will last us some time.

Yes, pretty well; but are they all horrid, are you sure they are all horrid?

Northanger Abbey, ch. 6

Alexander Balfour (1767–1829) was a Scottish novelist born in the parish of Monikie, Forfarshire.

Valancourt Books is an independent American publishing house founded by James Jenkins and Ryan Cagle in 2005. The company specializes in "the rediscovery of rare, neglected, and out-of-print fiction," in particular gay titles and gothic and horror novels from the 18th century to the 1980s.

Eleanor Sleath was an English novelist, best known for her 1798 gothic novel, The Orphan of the Rhine, which was listed as one of the seven "horrid novels" by Jane Austen in her novel Northanger Abbey.