So, still on with Jane Harvey, and I know I’m like a one track record this week, butl that’s how it goes.
Half way through the third and final volume of Any Thing But What You Expect and I have to admit, it’s almost quite exciting, I really am enjoying this volume.
But, anyway, yesterday I made an exciting, and probably astounding discovery. Well, to be fair I’m sure it isn’t, but at least it interested me at the time, and I was very surprised that, after intensive research lasting at least half an hour, no one else seems to have discussed the fact anywhere.
Now the title page of Any Thing &c describes Jane Harvey as being “the author of Monteith, Ethelia, Memoirs Of An Author, records of A Noble family &c &c”., however when I looked up Monteith on that most invaluable of websites “British Fiction 1800 – 1829 Database” http://www.british-fiction.cf.ac.uk/index.html I find that it is recorded as being written by a Mrs Rice. Montague Summers in his Gothic Bibliography also lists Mrs Rice as the author of Monteith, and doesn’t give a similar title under Miss Harvey’s works.
Finally, Monteith was printed in Derby by the same obscure printer as Any Thing, and it was published in 1805 which coincides with a lull in Jane Harvey’s publications. It doesn’t need to much of a stretch of the imagination to assume that Mrs Rice was actually a pseudonym of Jane Harvey. Either that, or a printer’s mistake, which solution I instantly discard as being to boring a solution and just so unlikely to ever happen.
I would love to discover that, in true fictional style, she had a short and tempestuos marriage to a Mr Rice, or even that she was madly in love with a young Mr Rice and was trying out the name to see how it felt. Nothing in her on line biographies suggest that either was the case, but i shall continue to believe. Hmm – Mrs Rice’s other publication was The Deserted Wife in 1803. – now how suspicious is that !!!
Anyway, with Lord and Lady Lochcarron in Volume 3 of Any Thing parading around Dorsetshire and Hampshire under assumed names, why not let Jane Harvey do so too. That is the extent of my literary detectivism for this week.