||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (March 2013)|
Life and work
Amelia Alderson was the daughter of James Alderson, a physician, and Amelia Briggs of Norwich, England. She was a cousin of notable judge Edward Hall Alderson, with whom she corresponded throughout her life, and also a cousin of notable artist Henry Perronet Briggs.
Marriage and family
In 1798 Alderson married John Opie, the painter. The nine years of her married life before her husband's death were happy, although her husband did not share her love of society. With his encouragement, in 1801 she completed a novel entitled Father and Daughter, which showed genuine fancy and pathos.
Amelia Opie published regularly after that. In 1802 she completed a volume of verse. Additional books followed: Adeline Mowbray (1804), Simple Tales (1806), Temper (1812), Tales of Real Life (1813), Valentine's Eve (1816), Tales of the Heart (1818), and Madeline (1822).
Opie wrote The dangers of Coquetry at age 18. Her novel Father and Daughter (1801) is about misled virtue and family reconciliation. Encouraged by Mary Wollstonecraft, she wrote Adeline Mowbray (1804), an exploration of relationship between mother and daughter. Adeline Mowbray uses frank language to deliver the moral that the desires of women as much as those of men can override their families' wishes and thus jeopardise their future
In 1825, through the influence of Joseph John Gurney, she joined the Society of Friends. After a book entitled Detraction Displayed and contributions to periodicals, she wrote nothing more. The rest of her life was spent travelling and working at charity.
Even late in life, Opie maintained connections with writers, for instance receiving George Borrow as a guest. After a visit to Cromer, a seaside resort on the North Norfolk coast, she caught a chill and retired to her bedroom. A year later on 2 December 1853, she died at Norwich. Ms. Opie was said to retain her vivacity to the last. She was buried at the Gildencroft Quaker Cemetery, Norwich.
A biography of her, A Life, by Miss C.L. Brightwell, was published in 1854.
Novels and Stories
- Dangers of Coquetry. (published anonymously) 1790
- The Father and Daughter. 1801
- Adeline Mowbray. 1804
- Simple Tales. 1806
- Temper 1812
- First Chapter of Accidents. 1813
- Tales of Real Life. 1813
- Valentine's Eve. 1816
- New Tales. 1818
- Tales of the Heart. 1820
- Madeline. 1822
- Illustrations of Lying. 1824
- Tales of the Pemberton Family for Children. 1825
- The Last Voyage. 1828
- Detraction Displayed. 1828
- Miscellaneous Tales. (12 Vols.) 1845-7
- Memoir of John Opie. 1809
- Sketch of Mrs. Roberts. 1814
- Maid of Corinth. 1801
- Elegy to the Memory of the Duke of Bedford. 1802
- Poems. 1803
- Lines to General Kosciusko. 1803
- Song to Stella. 1803
- The Warrior's Return. 1808
- The Black Man's Lament. 1826
- Lays for the Dead. 1834
- Recollections of Days in Holland. 1840
- "Opie, Amelia". British Authors of the Nineteenth Century H.W. Wilson Co., New York, 1936
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
- Eberle, Roxanne (1994). "Amelia Opie's 'Adeline Mowbray': Diverting the Libertine Gaze; Or, The Vindication of a Fallen Woman". Studies in the Novel 26 (2): 121–52.
- Howard, Carol (1998). "'The Story of the Pineapple': Sentimental Abolitionism and Moral Motherhood in Amelia Opie's Adeline Mowbray". Studies in the Novel 30: 355–76.
- Howard, Susan K. "Amelia Opie", British Romantic Novelists, 1789–1832. Ed. Bradford K. Mudge. Detroit: Gale Research, 1992.
- Kelly, Gary (1980). "Discharging Debts: The Moral Economy of Amelia Opie's Fiction". The Wordsworth Circle 11: 198–203.
- Kelly, Gary. English Fiction of the Romantic Period, 1789-1830. London: Longman, 1989.
- King, Shelley and John B. Pierce. "Introduction", The Father and Daughter with Dangers of Coquetry. Peterborough: Broadview Press, 2003.
- Simmons, Jr., James R. "Amelia Opie". British Short-Fiction Writers, 1800–1880. Ed. John R. Greenfield. Detroit: Gale Research, 1996.
- Spender, Dale. Mothers of the Novel: 100 Good Women Writers Before Jane Austen. London: Pandora, 1986.
- St. Clair, William. The Godwins and Shelleys: The Biography of a Family. London: Faber and Faber, 1989.
- Staves, Susan. "British Seduced Maidens", Eighteenth-Century Studies 12 (1980–81):109–34.
- Ty, Eleanor. Empowering the Feminine: The Narratives of Mary Robinson, Jane West, and Amelia Opie, 1796–1812. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Opie, Amelia.|
- Amelia Opie and Norwich
- Archival material relating to Amelia Opie listed at the UK National Archives
- Lee, Sidney, ed. (1895). "Opie, Amelia". Dictionary of National Biography 42. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 226–230.
- Brightwell, Cecilia Lucy,Memorials of the life of Amelia Opie, London: Longman, Brown, & Co., 1854.