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The Wedding Day
    (Review / The Wedding Day: a Novel, by Elizabeth Isabella Spence)
  Monthly Mirror /JAS, 1807
  ns vol. 2 (1807): 187.
The Wedding Day; a Novel. 1807.

The author of this work is Miss Spence, the niece of the Rev. James Fordyce, who addressed the female world in those interesting sermons, so well known, forty years ago. Her novel is entitled to much approbation for its virtuous sentiments, admirable descriptions, and strict principles.

The heroine, (Augusta), evinces every thing amiable in the female character; sacrifices an appointment with a lover to a visit of charity, and on explanation with him, to the painful duty of accompanying a sick aunt to Lisbon.

We think that aunt, (the Duchess of Pemberton), very reprehensible for continuing in the vortex of dissipation when she appears so strongly imprest with penitence for her imprudent conduct, especially as it occasioned the death of a worthy husband.

This fashionable course, indeed, would well accord with a frail wife; but the Duchess of Pemberton was not such; and had many excuses respecting Norbury to plead.

Besides, she rises to heroism in the most essential points of character, and heroic virtue is a consistent thing. The shipwreck of Augusta, in Ireland, is well imagined and well managed: perhaps Fitzalbert ought to have shewn more instances of jealousy to excuse his irritability on 'the wedding day;' but there is a novelty in this part of the story, which entitles its author to much praise, and we can recommend the whole as an entertaining and ingenious novel, which modesty may peruse without fear of meeting one page, or one sentence, that cannot abide the test of the strictest moral criticism. [complete]

Provided by Julie A. Shaffer, January 2000