Margaret Fuller, Critic: Writings from the New-York Tribune, 1844-1846

By Judith Mattson Bean; Joel Myerson | Go to book overview

Review of Anna Cora Mowatt, Evelyn

This is a very well written tale. The characters and events are taken from our every-day experience and described with nature and simplicity. The story is remarkably well told, and the catastrophe brought on with but little semblance of improbability. There is a little; for these strange results which the workings of the passions produce in real life are incredible in fiction, unless the inward cause can be made as palpable as the outward phenomenon. Not to mention works of the highest genius; in those of Godwin and Balzac—the most singular facts do not surprise us, because we are led to expect them through the minds of the agents. But “the true is not always the probable,” and, in the tale before us, the difficulty in making it seem probable is not always met. We cannot conceive of Evelyn rejoining her lover, after returning home to see her child; this might happen; but we are not made to feel the possibility of it in this instance.—The tone of thought and feeling is very good. The tale is a moral tale; but its morality is animated by a gentle and feeling heart. Many details show that the writer makes her observations with the aid of good sense, good taste and discretion.

Review of Anna Cora Mowatt, Evelyn: or a Heart Unmasked—A Tale of Domestic Life(Philadelphia: G. B. Zieber, 1845). New-York Daily Tribune, 7 July 1845, p. 1; reprinted, NewYork Weekly Tribune, 12 July 1845, p. 6. Title supplied. Anna Cora Ritchie Mowatt
(1819–70), novelist, dramatist, and actress.

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