Alethea Lewis

Standard Name: Lewis, Alethea
Birth Name: Alethea Brereton
Nickname: Stella
Married Name: Alethea Lewis
Pseudonym: The Author of Vicissitudes in Genteel Life
Pseudonym: Eugenia de Acton
At first anonymously and then as Eugenia de Acton, AL published six books (five novels and one book of essays), which are linked by their title-pages regardless of the nom de plume. A separate series of five other titles, previously attributed to her, has been recently re-assigned to Frances Jacson (sometimes called Jackson). All AL 's works share a tone of didacticism and Christian piety. Their plots are overcrowded and creaky, featuring sudden rises and falls in fortune; but with conventional plotting goes, often, a strain of creative unconventionality. AL favours ostentatious literary reference and self-conscious direct address to readers and reviewers.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Author summary Frances Jacson
FJ is now accepted as the author of five late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century novels, published anonymously or with allusion to former titles in the chain, which were formerly attributed to Alethea Lewis . She...
Textual Features Sarah Trimmer
In addition to Catharine Cappe 's work on Sunday schools and versions of fairy stories by Marie-Catherine d'Aulnoy , the magazine reviewed work by a whole library of didactic, pedagogical, or improving writers, reprinted as...
Textual Production Frances Jacson
An anonymous novel from the Minerva Press is now accepted as the first by FJ , though for a long time it was ascribed to Alethea Lewis . It was entitled Plain Sense.
Garside, Peter et al., editors. The English Novel 1770-1829. Oxford University Press.
1: 641
Jacson, Frances. Plain Sense. Minerva Press.
Textual Production Frances Jacson
FJ published another novel with the Minerva Press , this time in four volumes: Disobedience, by the author of Plain Sense. It too was for a long time attributed to Alethea Lewis .
Monthly Magazine. Sherwood, Gilbert, and Piper.
3 (1797): 306, 389
Jacson, Frances. Disobedience. Minerva Press.
Textual Production Frances Jacson
This is another novel ascribed in earlier sources to Alethea Lewis , and available through Chawton Novels On-line at Two plot-elements, indeed, are parallelled in Lewis's life: the motherless heroine, Caroline, and the long-drawn-out...
Textual Production Frances Jacson
Again, many reference sources attribute this novel to Alethea Lewis , though Lewis's biographer Shippen doubted the ascription. The work was ascribed to Jacson firstly by Maria Edgeworth in 1818, and later by Joan Percy
Textual Production Frances Jacson
The Chawton House Library copy of this novel is digitally available among their Novels On-line at The title-page (which quotes Cowper ) gives the date of 1823. Again, the generally-made attribution to Alethea Lewis
Textual Production Elizabeth Meeke
Before EM was identified, critic Roberta Magnani had looked at the whole record of her work and argued that advertisements and allusive reference on title pages link firmly together, as the work of a single...
Textual Production Annie Tinsley
AT , as the author of Margaret; or, Prejudice at Home, published a novel with a female first-person protagonist, Women as They Are. By One of Them.
The title of Women as They...


14 June 1792: The title of radical novelist Robert Bage's...

Writing climate item

14 June 1792

The title of radical novelist Robert Bage 's anonymous Man As He Is, published this day, suggests the unpalatable truths revealed by reformers or satirists; it influenced later titles chosen by William Godwin and others.

9 June 1819: The library of the late Queen Charlotte was...

Building item

9 June 1819

The library of the late Queen Charlotte was auctioned by Christie's ; it included Jane Austen 's works, plus titles by Catherine Cuthbertson , Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire , Christian Isobel Johnstone , Alethea Lewis


Lewis, Alethea. A Tale Without a Title. Minerva Press, 1804.
Lewis, Alethea. Essays on the Art of Being Happy. Minerva Press, 1803.
Lewis, Alethea. The Discarded Daughter. Minerva Press, 1810.
Lewis, Alethea. The Microcosm. Mawman, 1801.
Lewis, Alethea. The Nuns of the Desert. Minerva Press, 1805.
Lewis, Alethea. Vicissitudes in Genteel Life. Arthur Morgan, 1794.