Porter, Jane, 1776-1850

Alternative names
Birth 1776-12-03
Death 1850-05-24

Biographical notes:

Jane Porter (1776-1850) was a best selling British historical novelist and the author of Thaddeus of Warsaw (1804) and The Scottish chiefs (1810).

From the description of Papers of Jane Porter, 1760-1850. (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 122559985

Francis Legatt Chantrey was a popular and successful sculptor who made portrait busts of many of the most distinguished men of his time, including George IV, Sir Walter Scott, William Wordsworth and James Watt. He was knighted by William IV in 1835.

From the description of Letter : [London?] to [Francis Legatt] Chantrey, Belgrave Place, Pimlico [London, between 1807 and 1835] (University of South Carolina). WorldCat record id: 36067297

English novelist.

From the description of I dreamt sweet love! I was a bird : autograph poem, [1833 Nov. 23]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 703443332

From the description of To Ernest : autograph poem signed "Jane," 1801. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 703281153

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Strawberry Hill, to Mr. Nicholl [sic], 1811 Dec. 13. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270618684

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Esher, to Sir Sidney Smith, 1827 Jan. 22. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270618688

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Bristol, to Sir John Philippart, 1845 Jan. 7. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270865022

English novelist. She live in Edinburgh and London and was the author of about five romantic novels.

From the description of Letter [manuscript] : to George and Anne Rottenberg. 1848. (Libraries Australia). WorldCat record id: 225788929

Jane Porter was an enormously popular Scots novelist. Her highly romantic novels generally had historic or exotic settings, and followed a pattern of moral and chivalric behavior; she wrote several plays, with less success. Her family was poor but respectable, and her younger sister Anna Maria was a successful writer in a similar vein, while her brother Robert, a painter, author, and soldier, married a Russian princess and was knighted in both Sweden and England.

From the description of Jane Porter letters and engraved portrait, 1805-1842. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 55944450

Porter was born in 1776; travelled with her widowed mother from Durham, England to Edinburgh, and was educated there; Sir Walter Scott became a friend of the family, and Jane wrote two historical romances, Thaddeus of Warsaw (1803) and The Scottish chiefs (1810); wrote plays which were less successful; other novels include Duke Christian of Luneburg (1824) and The pastor's fire-side (1832); she died in 1850.

From the description of Papers, 1820-1859. (University of California, Los Angeles). WorldCat record id: 40299836

Jane Porter's brother, Robert, was appointed historical painter to the czar of Russia in 1804.

From the description of Letter : 21 Upper Berkeley Street, Portman Square [London] to Mr. Colnaghi, 24 Sept. 1818. (University of South Carolina). WorldCat record id: 36064698

Jane Porter, a Scottish novelist, was born in Durham (Scotland) and she was the older sister of Anna Maria Porter. After the death of their father, the family settled in Edinburgh, where they enjoyed the friendship of Sir Walter Scott. Jane's novel THADDEUS OF WARSAW (1803) is one of the earliest examples of the historical novel and went through several editions. THE SCOTTISH CHIEF (1810) a novel about William Wallace, was also a success and has remained popular with Scottish children. Jane wrote a number of novels, as well as two plays; the latter, however, were less successful. She also contributed to various periodicals. Jane and Anna Maria, were the sisters of Sir Robert Ker Porter, the historical painter.

Anna Maria Porter, like her sister Jane, was also a novelist and a poet. At the age of 12 Anna Maria published the novel ARTLESS TALES. She was in London by the 1790s, publishing verse in the UNIVERSAL MAGAZINE. She wrote a short novel WALSH COLVILLE which was published anonymously in 1797. Though her sister was the more popular writer, Anna was the more prolific. She collaborated with her sister Jane, and wrote THE HUNGARIAN BROTHERS (3 vol., 1807), a historical romance set against the French Revolutionary Wars, which was a huge success, and was published in several editions.

From the description of Jane Porter and Anna Maria Porter collection, 1808-1850. (Peking University Library). WorldCat record id: 156044193

Jane Porter, a British novelist and playwright, was best known for her novel, Thaddeus of Warsaw (1803), which is a fictional account of the doomed Polish independence struggle of the 1790s.

Porter also pioneered the form of the historical romance, later adopted by Walter Scott. Her novels written using this form include, The pastor's fireside (1817) and Duke Christian of Luneberg (1824). Porter's private papers including poems, letters, and personal diaries, are deposited at the Folger Library.

From the description of Letter, [ca.1810]. (Temple University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 122491204


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  • Women authors, English--19th century--Archival resources
  • Epistolary fiction, English
  • Women novelists, Scottish--19th century--Correspondence
  • Authors, English
  • Waterloo, Battle of, Waterloo, Belgium, 1815
  • Theater 19th century
  • Authors, Scottish--Portraits
  • Porter, Jane--1776-1850
  • Romances
  • Manuscripts, English--19th century
  • Hamlet (Legendary character)--Manuscripts
  • Novelists, Scottish--19th century--Portraits
  • Poets, Scottish--19th century--Correspondence
  • Napoleonic Wars, 1800-1815--Campaigns
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  • Authors, English--Archives
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  • Women novelists, English--19th century--Correspondence
  • Historical fiction, English


  • Novelists


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