Elizabeth Helme (1772-c.1810/1813) was an English novelist, translator, educational writer, teacher, and headmistress. Although much of her work did well critically and commercially, since the mid-nineteenth century it has largely been ignored. For more information, please listen to the podcast.
Helme’s works include:
Please note I have used original publication dates; however, the editions found on the specified sources (especially Google Books) are sometimes different editions if I have not located the originals.
Louisa: or, the Cottage on the Moor (1787) [Also available: Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)]
Clara and Emmeline: or, the Maternal Benediction (1788) [Available: ECCO]
Duncan and Peggy: A Scottish Tale (1794) [Available: ECCO]
Albert: or, the Wilds of Strathnavern (1799) [ECCO]
Maternal Instruction: or, Family Conversations, on Moral and Entertaining Subjects: Interspersed with History, Biography, and Original Stories: Designed for the Perusal of Youth (1804) [Archive of Americana, American Antiquarian Society and NewsBank]
Travels from the Cape of Good Hope into the Interior Parts of Africa (translated from the French original by Francois Le Vaillant) (1790)
Cortez: or, The Conquest of Mexico (translated from the German original by Joachim Heinrich Campe) (1799)
Columbus: or, The discovery of America, as related by a father to his child (translated from the German original by Joachim Heinrich Campe) (1811)
Works Cited/Further Reading:
“Author Biography: Elizabeth Helme.” Chawton House Library. 4 July 2007.
Blain, Virginia, Patricia Clements, and Isobel Grundy, eds. The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present. London: Batsford, 1990.
Copeland, Edward. Women Writing about Money: Women's Fiction in England, 1790- 1820. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1995.
Decker, Catherine H. “Female Self-Treatment: Preventive Medical Regimes, Piety, and the Novels of Frances Burney, Elizabeth Hamilton, and Elizabeth Helme.” Presented at the ASESC Conference, Tuscon, April 1995. 6 Oct. 2008
“Elizabeth Helme.” Corvey Women Writers on the Web (CW3): An Electronic Guide to Literature 1796–1834. 28 June 2007.
Garber, Frederick. St Margaret’s Cave; or, The Nun’s Story. By Elizabeth Helme.
Foreword. New York: Arno, 1977. v-xi.
Garrett, John. Gothic Strains and Bourgeois Sentiments in the Novels of Mrs. Ann Radcliffe and her Imitators. New York: Arno, 1980.
Salih, Sara. “The Silence of Miss Lambe: Sandition and Contextual Fiction of “Race” in the Abolition Era.” Eighteenth-Century Fiction 18:3 (2006): 329-53.
Shaffer, Julie. “Familial Love, Incest, and Female Desire in Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth-Century British Women’s Novels” Criticism 41 (1999): pars 1-56.
“St. Margaret’s Cave.” Rev. of St. Margaret’s Cave. Critical Review /JAS 34 (1802): Corvey Women Writers on the Web (CW3): An Electronic Guide to 237-8. Literature 1796–1834. 28 June 2007.
Summers, Montague. A Gothic Bibliography. London: The Fortune, 1941.
---. The Gothic Quest: A History of the Gothic Novel. New York: Russell & Russell, 1964.
Turner, Cheryl. Living by the Pen : Women Writers in the Eighteenth Century. London: Routledge, 1992.
Varma, Devendra P, ed. St Margaret’s Cave; or, The Nun’s Story. By Elizabeth Helme. Introduction. New York: Arno, 1977. xiii-xxii.
Watson, Sharon. Biography of Elizabeth Helme. Corvey ‘Adopt an Author’: The Corvey Project at Sheffield Hallam University. 6 Oct. 2008.
Watson, Sharon. Helme, Her Contemporaries, and the Background to the Didactic Novel. Corvey ‘Adopt an Author’: The Corvey Project at Sheffield Hallam University. 6 Oct. 2008.
Watson, Sharon. The Pilgrim of the Cross; or, the Chronicles of Christabelle Mowbray and Louisa; or, the Cottage on the Moor: Didacticism, Sensibility and Alternative of Genres within Elizabeth Helme’s Novels. Corvey ‘Adopt an Author’: The Corvey Project at Sheffield Hallam University. 6 Oct. 2008.
Page & Podcast by Kate Scarth (K.A.Scarth@warwick.ac.uk), a second-year PhD student in the Department of English & omparative Literary Studies. Her thesis is on emergent urban spaces in the Romantic period. One of her chapters focuses on Helme's Modern Times and engages with contemporary debates about female improvement and recent theories of spatial embodiment to show how the novel's two heroines create suburban space in London's West End.