The Father and Daughter with Dangers of Coquetry
  • Publication Date: January 2, 2003
  • ISBN: 9781551111872 / 155111187X
  • 377 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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The Father and Daughter with Dangers of Coquetry

  • Publication Date: January 2, 2003
  • ISBN: 9781551111872 / 155111187X
  • 377 pages; 5½" x 8½"

The Father and Daughter was one of the most widely read novels of the early nineteenth century, captivating readers with its pathos and melodrama. It tells the story of Agnes Fitzhenry, whose seduction by the libertine Clifford causes her father to descend into madness. Rooted in the social conditions of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Britain, the novel is both an affecting narrative and a compelling social commentary.

Opie’s first novel, Dangers of Coquetry (1790), also addresses issues of female sexuality and the social construction of gender. It is the story of a young woman who, while possessing many virtues, is given to coquetry. She attracts the attention of a sternly moral gentleman who dislikes coquettes, and mutual love ensues.

This Broadview edition includes a careful selection of contextual documents, such as Opie’s letters, dramatic adaptations, and texts on coquetry, chastity, and the treatment of insanity.


“This edition is wonderfully rich. It is a pleasure to know that the text that made Opie’s reputation in her own day is back in print and prepared by such able hands as Shelley King and John B. Pierce. No one else could have done as excellent a job.” — Christine M. Cooper, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

“This edition, which places Opie’s work in conversation with other Romantic texts preoccupied with questions of madness, chastity, and sexuality, provides Romanticists with an invaluable addition to their libraries and classrooms.” — Roxanne Eberle, University of Georgia

Amelia Alderson Opie: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text

The Father and Daughter

Dangers of Coquetry

Appendix A: Extracts from Amelia Opie’s Letters 

Appendix B: Reviews of Dangers of Coquetry and The Father and Daughter

  1. Reviews of Dangers of Coquetry
    1. The European Magazine (May 1790)
    2. Critical Review (September 1790)
    3. The English Review (March 1791)
  2. Reviews of The Father and Daughter
    1. The Critical Review, or Annals of Literature (May 1802)
    2. The Monthly Review; or Literary Journal (May 1801)
    3. The European Magazine (September 1801)
    4. The Edinburg Review (October 1802)

Appendix C: Contemporary Responses to The Father and Daughter

  1. Thomas Robinson to Henry Crabb Robinson, 31 July 1801
  2. Mrs. Thomas Clarkson to R.E. Garnham, 20 May 1802
  3. From “Mrs. Opie,” The European Magazine, and London Review (May 1803)
  4. From The Gentleman’s Magazine (August 1806)
  5. From “Mrs. Opie,” The Ladies’ Monthly Museum (February 1817)

Appendix D: L’Agnese

  1. From Agnes; A Serio-Comic Opera, in Two Acts
  2. Reviews of L’Agnese

Appendix E: Smiles and Tears

  1. From Mrs. C. Kemble, Smiles and Tears: or, The Widow’s Strategem (1815)
    2. Reviews of Smiles and Tears

Appendix F: The Lear of Private Life

  1. From Agnes; A Serio-Comic Opera, in Two Acts
  2. Reviews of L’Agnese

Appendix G. Songs and Airs

  1. “A Hindustàni Girl’s Song”
  2. “A Mad Song”
  3. “The Orphan Boy’s Tale”

Appendix H: Chastity

  1. From Hannah More, Essays on Various Subjects, Principally Designed for Young Ladies (1777)
  2. Catharine Macaulay, from LETTER XXIV, Chastity in Letters on Education (1790)
  3. From William Godwin, Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1798)
  4. From Hannah More, Strictures on the Modern System of Female Education (1799)

Appendix I: Coquetry

  1. Joseph Addison, The Spectator No. 281, January 22, 1712
  2. Catherine Jemmat, “The Lady’s Resolve” (1762)
  3. From Memoirs of a Coquet; or the History of Miss Harriot Airy (1765)
  4. Catharine Macaulay, Letter XXII, Coquetry in Letters on Education (1790)
  5. From Ladys Monthly Museum (June 1799)

Appendix J: Madness

  1. From Cecilia Lucy Brightwell, Memorials of the Life of Amelia Opie (1854)
  2. “Proposals for the establishment of a Lunatic Asylum under the Care of Friends, to be called The Southern Retreat” and letter from Amelia Opie to Joseph John Gurney, August 8, 1939
  3. From William Battie, M.D. A Treatise on Madness (1758)
  4. From John Munro M.D., Remarks on Dr. Battie’s Treatise on Madness (1758)
  5. From William Cullen, First Lines of the Practice of Physic (1788)
  6. From Andrew Harper, A Treatise on the Real Cause and Cure of Insanity (1789)

Appendix K: Substantive Variants in The Father and Daughter

Select Bibliography

Shelley King is an Assistant Professor of English at Queen’s University, Kingston.

John B. Pierce is a Professor of English at Queen’s University, Kingston.