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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 472 pages of information about Marriage.

PREFATORY NOTE.

Miss Ferrier’s Novels have, since their first appearance, suffered curtailment in all subsequent Editions.  The present Edition is the first reprint from the original Editions, and contains the whole of the omissions in other reprints.  It is, therefore, the only perfect Edition of these Novels.

Works which have received the praise of Sir Walter Scott and Sir James Mackintosh, and been thought worthy of discussion in the Noctes Ambrosianae, require no further introduction to the reader.  The almost exceptional position which they occupy as satirizing the foibles rather than the more serious faults of human nature, and the caustic character of that satire, mingled with such bright wit and genial humour, give Miss Ferrier a place to herself in English fiction; and it is felt that a time has come to recognize this by producing her works in a form which fits them for the library, and in a type which enables them to be read with enjoyment.

          G.B.

New Burlington street,

December 1881.

MISS FERRIER’S NOVELS. [1]

In November 1854 there died in Edinburgh one who might, with truth, be called almost the last, if not the last, of that literary galaxy that adorned Edinburgh society in the days of Scott, Jeffrey, Wilson, and others.  Distinguished by the friendship and confidence of Sir Walter Scott, the name of Susan Edmonstone Ferrier is one that has become famous from her three clever, satirical, and most amusing novels of Marriage, The Inheritance, and Destiny. They exhibit, besides, a keen sense of the ludicrous almost unequalled.  She may be said to have done for Scotland what Jane Austen and Maria Edgeworth have respectively done for England and Ireland—­left portraits, painted in undying colours, of men and women that will live for ever in the hearts and minds of her readers.  In the present redundant age of novel writers and novel-readers, and when one would suppose the supply must far exceed the demand from the amount of puerile and often at the same time prurient literature in the department of fiction that daily flows from the press, it is refreshing to turn to the vigorous and, above all, healthy moral tone of this lady’s works.  To the present generation they are as if they had never been, and to the question, “Did you ever read Marriage?" it is not uncommon in these times to get such an answer as, “No, never.  Who wrote it?” “Miss Ferrier.”  “I never heard of her or her novels.”  It is with the view, therefore, of enlightening such benighted ones that I pen the following pages.

[1] Reprinted from the Temple Bar Magazine for November 1878, Vol I.

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