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Extra info for Agreement between the United Kingdom and Portugal for the Regulation of the Opium Monopolies in the Colonies
Conduct books and periodicals often attacked the novel as a moral danger: it was unprofitable, a misemployment of time, and it failed to improve the mind of the reader. The Scots Magazine was one of manifold periodicals which argued that reading secretly corrupted the mind; even Gothic writers like Sarah Wilkinson and Eleanor Sleath condemned the novel because ‘fictitious tales of distress . . have a dangerous tendency’ (Sleath, Orphan, p. 147). In regard to Mrs Thurtell’s Gothic reading, it may have been the specific social distress of her son’s death that gave rise to the dangerous tendency; in 36 The History of Gothic Publishing, 1800–1835 her case, reading Gothic fiction then may have provided a distancing, or escape, from that distress, which is an interesting variation on the contemporary stereotypes of the female reader.
The location of the library in fact tells us something about the stock of the library and its clientele. The Rampant Horse, across the street from the library, was one of the largest commercial and family hotel and coaching inns in Norwich, and the first prominent posting-house that travellers on the road from London would encounter after arriving in Norwich. The library’s prominent location on the affluent St Stephens (the London Road) near the Theatre Royal suggests that Cupper’s subscribers were, likewise, wellto-do.
A Novel (1814), and the anonymous Rosetta, a novel by a lady well known in the fashionable world (1805) indicates an upward mobility in her aspirations. In total, she read some 60 novels from the catalogue, and admittedly very few of them are Gothic. She appears to have had an interest, specifically, in the domestic: Amelia Beauclerc’s Husband Hunters (1816), Mrs Edgeworth’s Wife; or, A Model for Woman (1810), and Barbara Hofland’s Patience and Perseverance, or, The Modern Griselda: A Domestic Tale (1813).