A Burglary or, 'Unconscious Influence' by Amy Dillwyn
Edited with a new introduction by Alison Favre (Honno, 2009), pp. vii-xix, 350, £10.99.
Reviewed by David Painting.
Twenty years ago the Swansea author Amy Dillwyn was known, if at all, as a rather eccentric Grand Old Lady still remembered for her mannish clothes and for smoking cigars. When her biography appeared in 1987 a fuller portrait emerged of a splendidly clever woman who openly defied Victorian convention, ran a major industry virtually single handed and, incidentally, published several forgotten but very readable novels.
Until quite recently few readers have had any opportunity of finding out just how readable her fiction might be, but now thanks to the pioneering Honno Classics series we have seen attractive reprints of two of Dillwyn’s early novels with the possibility of more to follow. The first The Rebecca Rioter (1880) has already been well received and we now have A Burglary or, ‘Unconscious Influence’ first published in three volumes in 1883 and newly introduced with a perceptive and stimulating essay by Alison Favre.
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