Novel 101: A.J. Barrowcliffe, Normanton (1862)

William Fraser Garden, Houghton Mill

William Fraser Garden, Houghton Mill


In a country village, two cousins both love the miller’s daughter.

Albert Julius Mott (?-1870) wrote three novels between 1856 and 1862 under the pseudonym A.J. Barrowcliffe.  This, the last, has an intricate plot which runs its course over five days in a small village.

“The author . . . is able to breathe life into the creatures of his imagination, so that they perform his bidding naturally, and do not require the visible presence of his guiding hand.  He has a thorough sympathy with nature. . . .  And he has a keen insight into the complex machinery of the human mind. . . .  Moreover, he possesses no small share of humour.” London Review, December 20, 1862

The author succeeds in “the production of a minutely finished and faithful picture of English country life. . . .  Mr. Barrowcliffe’s story is quite sufficiently interesting, and is developed with considerable skill; but certainly the most noticeable point in his book is the extreme polish and smoothness of his style.” Spectator, December 27, 1862

“An honest purpose, a graceful style, and a certain novelty in construction, make this a very good story.” Examiner, April 4, 1863.

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