This collection contains the papers of British historical
novelist Jane Porter (1776-1850) and includes family correspondence that describes life amongst the gentry and literary figures
during the Regency and early Victorian eras, including social customs and
traditional roles of women. Their letters also reflect the family's financial straits and the struggles
they endured to maintain their expected (and desired)
place in society.
Jane Porter (1776-1850), a British historical novelist, was born in Durham, England
in 1776, the third of five children born to William Porter, an officer in the
British Army, and Jane Blenkinsop Porter. After her father’s death in 1779, Jane
moved with her family to Edinburgh and began her education. According to all
reports, she was very studious from quite a young age and was strongly influenced by
the tales of chivalry and the Northern borders which she heard as she was growing up
in Scotland. Throughout her life, Jane was especially close to her younger brother
Robert Ker Porter (1777-1842), a noted painter, writer, and diplomat, and her
younger sister, Anna Maria Porter (1780-1832), also a novelist.
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