Novel 027: Marian James, A Lord of Creation (1857)

William Powell Frith, The Proposal

William Powell Frith, The Proposal


A virtuous young lady falls in love with the companion of her childhood, her guardian's nephew.

Marian James wrote five novels and a few stories between 1854 and 1872; I can discover nothing else about her.  This one-volume novel, with a plot involving inheritance and betrothal, is most notable, as the reviews suggest, for its characters, especially the anti-hero to which the title ironically refers.

“It is a clever, carefully written, though slight story, without much incident,—but that little is delicately and dexterously handled, and the result is an interesting and very readable book.  The interest turns on the delineation of the different characters, especially of ... the ‘Lord of the Creation,’ who gives the title to the book” Athenaeum, September 26, 1857

The simple plot “gains a pervading charm from excellent treatment.  The story flows on with calm earnest directness, and towards the end becomes riveting in its interest; the language, every where adequate, is nowhere pretentious... Character, however, is the writer’s forte.  Every a separate study...rendered with that true art which involves not only the knowledge of human nature, but the knowledge of delineating it.”  National Magazine, November, 1857

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