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APPENDIX Other Probable Attributions Signed “A.B.”

To limit the scope of my investigations for this essay, I have deliberately focused on the five letters in the True Briton signed “A.B.” that seem to have been written by Richardson. Other letters whose authors are suspiciously identified as women with such names as “Athalia Dormant” in Nos. 28 and 34, “Conscientia” in No. 45, “Misericordia” in No. 47, and “Violette” in No. 71 could well be Richardsonian impersonations. When reading through all the available numbers of other journals known to have come from Richardson's press, I have also resisted speculating idly about a number of letters and articles that might conceivably have derived from his pen, whether signed “A.B.” or otherwise. After careful sifting through these journals, therefore, I submit the following six examples as very likely to have been written by Richardson. Four of the letters signed “A.B.” amount to advertisements for books that Richardson was printing at the time each extract appeared in the papers, and the other two are commentaries on subjects close to Richardson's life-long moral interest. I have used the Research Publications microfilm of the Burney papers for these journals.

1. The Plain Dealer No. 56 (2 October 1724). Letter from “Your most Obedient Servant, A.B.,” expanding on an earlier article on “Detraction.”

In the second paragraph of this letter, the writer seems to intend to substitute another term for “detraction” by offering “slander” or “calumny” as alternatives. Of the twenty-three instances in C-H for “detraction,” one occurs in the third edition of Clarissa. Of the ninety instances in C-H for “slander,” eight are in Richardson. Of the forty-two examples in C-H for “calumny,” five are in Richardson. The word “fools” is too commonplace to be significant, but “knaves” occurs only twenty-nine times in C-H, twice in Richardson.

In the third paragraph, the verb “blacken” appears four times in Clarissa out of a total of twenty-two occurrences. The verb “eclipses” is quite rare among the novelists in C-H, with only five matches altogether, one is in Grandison. In the fifth paragraph, the adjective “musty” occurs only seventeen times in C-H, with four instances in Richardson.

The reverence for Socrates in paragraph six is emphasized in Richardson's greatest novel: Belford declares: “O Lovelace! Lovelace! had I doubted it before, I should now be convinced, that there must be a World after this, to do justice to injured merit, and to punish such a barbarous perfidy! Could the divine Socrates, and the divine Clarissa, otherwise have suffered?” (Clarissa, 1st edn., 5:224).

In paragraph seven, the phrase “worthless fellow” is surprisingly rare among the novels included in C-H, with only eleven instances altogether, with one in the first edition of Clarissa and another in Sir Charles Grandison. Besides Aaron Hill's own interest in writing a life of the Duke of Marlborough, the high praise of this great general fits Richardson's attitude in his later years and his deploring the Tories who denigrated him in the reign of Queen Anne, as in his letter (4 June 1750) to Susannah


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Highmore. See Barbauld, 2:230. Of the twenty-eight instances for Marlborough in C-H, eight are in Richardson, all very positive on his behalf. Most surprisingly, the phrase “Country's Glory” is very rare: only two instances in C-H, with the one in Grandison, 2:284.

2. The Daily Journal No. 1047 (29 May 1724). Letter from “A.B.” with excerpt from Defoe's Tour. Advertisement for Defoe's Tour on second page.

According to Sale, Richardson printed A Tour thro' the whole Island of Great-Britain, 3 vols. 1724-25-27. “Richardson printed the indexes for Vols. I and II, with his ornament No. 29 in Vol. I, and Nos. 35 and 57 in Vol. II. He also printed the first and second letters in Vol. II (pp. 1-192), with ornaments No. 27, 35, and 96. The third volume is the work of another press” (p. 163). The quotation above is taken from A Tour (1724), Letter One, 1:63-64. In this very short head note, the word “perusing” is surprisingly significant, with only thirty-six instances in C-H. Twelve are in Richardson, who used it far more frequently than any other novelist in the database.

3. The Daily Journal No. 3609 (28 July 1732). Letter signed A.B. on the engine at Venice used to dredge the channels and recommendation that same be used for the Thames.

The long quotation and illustration are excerpted from Awnsham Churchill's A Collection of Voyages and Travels (London, 1732): Voyages and Travels lately publish'd in Folio, which was written by the celebrated Sir Philip Skippon, 6:504. Richardson had printed only the sixth volume of this travel book, in 1732 (Sale, p. 233). A machine collation with the Lindstrand Comparator indicates that the image in the Daily Journal is identical with the woodcut illustration in the Churchill Collection volume that Richardson printed. Since illustrations in early newspapers are rare and mostly found in advertisements for quack remedies, this drawing of the engine at Venice prominently displayed on the front page must have stood out for readers at the time. The expression “choaked up” is unusual among the early novelists, with only nine instances on C-H, five of which are in Richardson. None of the other four authors used it more than once in their respective works. Furthermore, there are no instances at all for the modern spelling “choked up.”

4. The Weekly Miscellany No. 56 (5 January 1734). Letter from “Yours, &c., A.B.,” advocating sumptuary laws against extravagant dress, followed by a long quotation from Vade Mecum, p. 33.

In the first paragraph, the verb “bemoan'd” or “bemoaned” has only eight instances altogether in C-H, one in Grandison. In the second paragraph, the phrase “fatal Mischiefs” is very rare: only five instances altogether in C-H and all from Richardson. The verb “propagated” has only forty- eight instances in C-H, with thirteen in Richardson. In the fourth paragraph, the phrase “reasonable Hope” has only eight instances in C-H, with two in Clarissa. Even “peacocks” is quite rare in these novels, with only seven instances altogether, two appearing in Richardson, one in the Familiar Letters and another in the third edition of Clarissa. The phrase “ridiculous Light” in paragraph six is also a rarity, with only six instances altogether, one in Clarissa.

5. The Weekly Miscellany No. 245 (3 September 1737). Letter from “Your constant Reader, A.B.” concerning a pamphlet. George Berkeley's The Querist on Ireland.

Despite its being such a short note, the term “improvements” may be significant. Of the one hundred and fourteen instances in C-H, thirty-one are from Richardson's


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three novels and Familiar Letters. The rhetorical strategy of queries in Berkeley's piece is a reminder of A.B.'s letter in TB No. 9.

6. The Daily Gazetteer No. 1419 (9 January 1740). Letter from “Your's &c. A. B.” concerning the multitude of prostitutes in the streets of London.

From his earliest known writing, namely the Vade Mecum (1734), Richardson was concerned about the evils of prostitution. On religious and legal grounds, he warns against the evils of “the Company of lewd Women” (p. 4). One of his objections to apprentices' attending play-houses is “The great Resort of lewd Women to these Places where the Temptation is made the stronger, by the Impressions which the Musick and the Entertainment are liable to make on young and unguarded Minds” (p. 10). But Richardson does recommend Lillo's The London Merchant because it represents “the Artifices of a lewd Woman, and the seduction of an unwary young Man” (p. 16). Young women of upright citizens are also warned against attending the play- houses, where they would meet “an infamous Troop of wretched Strollers, who by our very Laws are deemed Vagabonds, and a collected String, of abandon'd Harlots” (p. 17). Towards the end of the final paragraph of this letter to the Daily Gazetteer, the writer mentions a recent charitable institution: “The Preserving the Lives of the Poor Infant Fruits of Shame, Sin, and Extreme Poverty, has lately taken up the Attention of many Noble and Honourable Personages.” This is an allusion to the Foundling Hospital, whose governors included friends William Hogarth, Francis Child, John Barnard, and Archibald Hutcheson. In 1739, Richardson printed the Foundling Hospital. A Copy of the Royal Charter, Establishing an Hospital for the Maintenance and Education of Exposed and Deserted Young Children (Sale, p. 171).

When the Magdalen House, an institution for reformed prostitutes, was established in 1758, Richardson took an interest in it mmediately, having himself proposed the idea through his exemplary gentleman:

I have another scheme, my Lord, proceeded Sir Charles—An Hospital for Female Penitents; for such unhappy women, as having been once drawn in, and betrayed by the perfidy of men, find themselves, by the cruelty of the world, and principally by that of their own Sex, unable to recover the path of virtue, when perhaps (convinced of the wickedness of the men in whose honour they confided) they would willingly make their first departure from it the last.

These, continued he, are the poor creatures who are eminently intitled to our pity, tho' they seldom meet with it.

(Sir Charles Grandison, 4:142)

Richardson donated to this institution, and in 1760, he was one of the annual governors (Eaves and Kimpel, p. 465). Although the letter-writer in the Daily Gazetteer may seem less charitable than Richardson, it needs to be emphasized that the Magdalen House was intended primarily to aid women who had been seduced by promises of marriage and that they could be discharged for poor behavior. Near the end of his life Richardson also assisted Lady Barbara Montagu in getting a novel by an unknown protégée published—The Histories of Some of the Penitents in the Magdalen House, which he himself printed in 1760.

Besides Richardson's life-long interest in the problems of prostitution, the language of this letter to the Daily Gazetteer shows traces of his style. In the first paragraph, the phrase “generous Protection” is quite rare in C-H, with only three instances altogether, two in Grandison and one in Burney's Evelina. In the second paragraph the word “stripling” occurs only eighteen times in C-H, with one instance in Grandison. The word “Remissness” occurs only twenty times in the database, with twelve in Richardson, seven alone in the Familiar Letters. The phrase “little


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Restraint” is surprisingly rare among the early novelists; but of the five instances, two are in Richardson. Of the total of fifty-eight instances for “allowances,” thirty- three are in Richardson. In C-H the term “free-livers” or “free livers” appears only in Richardson's novels. In the singular form, the term “free-liver” or “free liver” is also exclusive to this author.

In the third paragraph, of the twenty-seven matches for “Informations,” eleven are in Richardson. The phrase “Private Capacity” has only three instances in C-H, with one in Pamela. The phrase “Bad Women” is apparently unique in C-H: just one instance altogether—in Clarissa (1st edn., 6:150; 3rd edn., 6:265). Even the singular form is infrequent, and of the twenty-two instances in C-H for “bad woman,” ten are in Richardson. By contrast, “bad men” occurs nineteen times in C-H, with six instances in Richardson. Yet, “bad man” has thirty-seven matches in C-H, with twenty-five in Richardson.