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“deepen[ing] the power and horror of the original”: Caroline Clive’s Paul Ferroll as Descendant of Jane Eyre

“deepen[ing] the power and horror of the original”: Paul Ferroll de Caroline Clive héritier de Jane Eyre
Adrienne E. Gavin
p. 64-86

Résumé

Lorsque le roman de Caroline Clive, Paul Ferroll, fut publié en juillet 1855, la critique ne tarda pas à faire le lien avec Jane Eyre (1847), de Charlotte Brontë. Les premiers à se pencher sur ce roman jugèrent les deux textes dans des termes similaires, les considérant comme choquants, originaux, puissants et audacieux. En renversant les attentes victoriennes dans le champ de la fiction et en transgressant les « règles » imposées aux femmes-écrivains, ces livres étaient, pensait-on, porteurs de qualités « masculines » tour à tour louées et dénigrées. Paul Ferroll fut donc vu comme un héritier de Jane Eyre qui « accentuait la puissance et l’horreur de l’original » (« deepen[ing] the power and horror of the original »). Cette accentuation est particulièrement prégnante dans le choix de Clive comme protagoniste criminel ; à l’instar de Rochester, ce dernier est un héros byronien qui cache un lourd secret au sujet de sa première épouse.

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Clive Caroline, reviews, plot, crime, writing

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XIXe siècle

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littérature, société, Grande-Bretagne
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Texte intégral

  • 1 Review of Paul Ferroll: A Tale. By the Author of ‘IX Poems by V.’ New Quarterly Review, vol. 4, Oct (...)
  • 2  Review of Paul Ferroll. New York: Redfield Edition. The United States Democratic Review, vol.  37, (...)
  • 3  “New Novelettes.” Times, 2 February 1856, 7.

1When Caroline Clive’s Paul Ferroll first appeared in 1855, critics were swift to link it with Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, published just eight years earlier. “We have seldom read so wonderful a romance as ‘Paul Ferroll,’” declared the New Quarterly Review: “As quiet in its appearance as ‘Jane Eyre,’ it is almost as startling in its effect, and still more doubtful in its moral1”. “Since ‘Jane Eyre,’” an American review proclaimed, “there has been no such novel as ‘Paul Ferroll’2”. The two novels had, stated TheTimes, “the same definite theme with its solemn under tone, the same Doric breadth, and Spartan vigour3”.

  • 4  C. M. Lennox-Boyd, “The Literary Career of Caroline Clive (1801-1873)”,PhD dissertation,University (...)

2The ready linking of these two novels may seem to modern minds surprising. Jane Eyre is a romance that recounts the life of an obscure, plain, female protagonist who has a strong moral core and who suffers great emotional pain before finding happiness in marriage. Paul Ferroll, by contrast, is a crime novel about an admired, socially respected gentleman with a warped sense of honour who murders twice and escapes punishment for his crimes. That Clive’s novel appeared just four months after Brontë’s death may partially explain the quick connection critics made between the novels. “The example of an acknowledged genius, recently dead, who had been criticised for departing from femininity and gentility in her novels,” as Charlotte Lennox-Boyd, suggests, served “to excuse, as well as to place, Caroline Clive4”.

3More direct associations between the novels were, however, also seen. An obituary of Clive in 1873 went so far as to claim that Paul Ferroll was a direct reworking of Jane Eyre:

  • 5  “Notice of Death of Mrs. Archer Clive”, The Academy, vol. 4, 1 August 1873, 285.

[Clive] will be remembered as the authoress of Paul Ferroll, an extremely powerful though parasitical book, for the acute, intense, and sensitive mind of the writer was certainly set in motion by Jane Eyre. The object seems to have been to deepen the power and horror of the original and at the same time to produce something less brutal (we do not mean this word to be offensive) and more logical5.

4Not only obituarists and critics but also general readers coupled the texts. Chemist and physicist Michael Faraday, for example, in a conversation about novels is reported as saying:

  • 6  “Michael Faraday”, Saint Paul’s Magazine, vol. 6, June 1870, 296.

‘I like the stirring ones,—with plenty of life, plenty of action, and very little philosophy’. […] He then mentioned the novel of ‘Paul Ferroll,’ as having stir enough in it, and added, ‘There’s another modern one I like very well too, where a man keeps his mad wife up at the top of his house.’ This was the novel of ‘Jane Eyre.6

5Focusing on the reception and content of Paul Ferroll, the present article discusses the ways in which Clive’s novel was seen as a descendant of Jane Eyre. Contemporary critics judged both works to be original, powerful, bold, and shocking. Subverting expectations for Victorian fiction and transgressing “rules” for women’s writing, the books’ “masculine” qualities were variously praised or vilified. That Paul Ferroll like Jane Eyre featured a Byronic hero who had a dark secret about his first wife was seen as a clearly echoing factor.

  • 7  B. Newman, “A Critical History of Jane Eyre”, in B. Newman (ed.), Charlotte Brontë. Jane Eyre. Cas (...)
  • 8  E. Gaskell, The Life of Charlotte Brontë [1857], Oxford: Oxford UP, 1996, 295.
  • 9  [E. Rigby], “Vanity Fair and Jane Eyre”, Quarterly Review, vol. 84, n° 167, December 1848, 153-185 (...)

6When Jane Eyre: An Autobiography was published by Smith, Elder and Co. in October 1847, critics termed it “‘bold,’ ‘fresh,’ and ‘striking’ and praised the novel’s ‘vigor,’ ‘shrewdness,’ ‘power’,’ and ‘originality’7”. Although widely admired, the book also attracted negative comment for perceived unconventionality, improbability, and “coarseness.” Writing in what Elizabeth Gaskell terms the “cowardly insolence8” of anonymity, Elizabeth Rigby notoriously condemned Jane Eyre in the December 1848 issue of The Quarterly Review. “It is a very remarkable book,” she writes: “we have no remembrance of another combining such genuine power with such horrid taste. Both together have equally assisted to gain the great popularity it has enjoyed9”.

7When Paul Ferroll: A Tale was published by Saunders and Otley in July 1855, it, too, attracted praise, condemnation, and popularity for its “genuine power” yet “horrid taste.” It is a “wondrous story, leaving us in admiration, almost in awe, of the power of its author,” a New Quarterly Review critic observed:

  • 10 Review of Paul Ferroll,October 1855, op. cit., 422.

We can find no fault in it as a work of art; but the interest and sympathy excited in favour of the murderer, proves how false is the morality, and how greatly abused has been the gift of authorship10.

  • 11  Letter to Louis Hachette, 29 October 1855, in J. Chapple & A. Shelston (eds.), Further Letters of (...)
  • 12  D. Flower, A Century of Best Sellers 1830-1930, London National Book Council, 1934, 11.

8Recommending Paul Ferroll as a “work of fiction of remarkable merit,” Gaskell told French publisher Louis Hachette that it had “made a great sensation” in Britain: “People here condemn the book as ‘the work of a she-devil’, but buy it, and read it, and in six weeks a second edition had to be issued11”. It became (with Charles Kingsley’s Westward Ho!) the British bestseller of 185512, and by March 1856 had run into four editions.

  • 13  J. Davies, “The Poems and Novels of the Author of ‘Paul Ferroll’”, The Contemporary Review, vol. 2 (...)
  • 14  G. A. Sala, “How I Went to Court: A Proud Confession”, Belgravia: A London Magazine, vol. 3, May 1 (...)

9While Jane Eyre has endured as a classic of Victorian fiction, its plot widely known even to those who have never read it, Paul Ferroll has fallen into unwarranted obscurity. Yet Clive’s story of a respected gentleman who kills his first wife in order to marry his second and suffers no guilt, repentance, or punishment for his crimes, caused a considerable stir in its day for its amorality. It also remained well known for the rest of the nineteenth century. In 1874, critic James Davies could state with confidence: “To give an abstract or analysis of the story, at this point of time, can scarcely be necessary13”, and George Augustus Sala could ask: “Dear madam, have you ever read Paul Ferroll? Of course you have. All novel-readers have perused that remarkable and eminently disagreeable fiction14”.

10Because Paul Ferroll is no longer so well known, some “abstract…of the story” may prove helpful here. Focusing on Ferroll himself, the novel opens just after he has murdered his first wife as she lies sleeping in their country house, the Tower of Mainwarey. No trace of suspicion attaches to Ferroll and a servant who is tried for the crime is acquitted. After time abroad, the widowed Ferroll returns with a beautiful second wife Elinor, who was his first love, and their toddler daughter Janet. A highly esteemed county gentleman, magistrate, respected author, and a person whose opinions are relied upon, Ferroll is admired for his bravery in visiting cholera-infected areas when others fear to do so. Independent and reclusive, he refuses social invitations from those eager to cultivate his friendship.

11Seeming to epitomize the ideal English gentleman, Ferroll is in fact a cold-blooded killer who is passionately excited by danger, death, and extreme situations. He takes perverse pleasure in watching people suffering and dying of cholera, is obsessive in his passion for Elinor, and gives scant emotional attention to his young daughter. Tried, convicted, and pardoned for the murder of a worker during a riot, he faces a second murder trial when, eighteen years after killing his first wife, a servant is tried for the crime. Ferroll’s individual code of honour dictates that he will not allow another to be punished for his crime, so he comes forward and confesses. This same sense of honour is now explained as the reason for his social reclusiveness; he has been preserving fellow gentlemen and neighbours from ever having to say that a murderer had been their friend. The shock of his confession kills Elinor, and after receiving the death sentence, Ferroll escapes from gaol and travels to Spain with his daughter Janet. Her words of loyalty close the first two editions of the novel:

‘Can you still love me, Janet?’ said he.

‘Love you? Oh, yes—my father!’ (Paul Ferroll, 223).

12The amorality of this ending outraged many Victorian readers, including a Times reviewer who declared:

  • 15  “New Novelettes”, op. cit., 7.

The author […] is eminent among her sisters of the pen for many of the qualities which distinguished the authoress of Jane Eyre […]. But the application of these gifts is singularly perverse and monstrous, and calls for an immediate protest […]. To what account is Paul Ferroll’s crime so forcibly represented if unaccompanied by punishment? He loses the woman for whom it was committed after 18 years of happiness; he himself escapes to Spain with his daughter. Is it a sufficient penalty, is it any penalty at all, that the object of the crime should be lost and the criminal otherwise unscathed? If the burglar is unable to remove our plate-chest, if the thief hands over the produce of his petty larceny, is he to be thenceforth exonerated? Is legal justice in his case, or poetic in that of Ferroll’s so easily satisfied? If the latter is permitted to pluck his grapes henceforth in the perfumed air of Andalusia, justice is frustrated, purpose is wanting, fiction is folly. The plea that the scaffold would be too ignominious is not even admissible, for the artist was not reduced to this alternative. Her art may be imperfect, but her moral is without excuse15.

  • 16  A.E. Gavin, Introduction and Note on the Text, in Caroline Clive, Paul Ferroll [1855], Kansas City (...)
  • 17 Jane Eyre, of course, also inspired a prequel about the courtship and marriage of a first wife: Jea (...)

13Probably in reaction to such criticism, Clive added a “Concluding Notice” to the third edition of the novel, which sees Ferroll and Janet travel on to America where Ferroll soon dies after falling ill. His death, however, is not “at the hands of justice or in a state of remorse, repentance, or guilt. Such emotional pain as he feels—and even this is questionable—is over loss of the object of his first crime rather than regret for its victim, guilt over his actions, or dread for his soul16”. The lack of any real textual condemnation of Ferroll still disturbed readers. In 1860, possibly as a further palliative, Clive published the prequel Why Paul Ferroll Killed His Wife. This novel explains more fully the hints given in Paul Ferroll that Ferroll’s first wife had tricked him into marrying her by leading him to believe, wrongly, that his true love Elinor was false17.

  • 18  E. Gaskell, op. cit., 247.

14Like Jane Eyre, Paul Ferroll significantly advanced Victorian women’s writing by ignoring expected norms. Brontë deliberately and successfully made “her heroine plain, small, and unattractive, in defiance of the accepted canon18”, while Clive’s idea of a “model English gentleman” revealing himself as his sleeping wife’s murderer was, as the Saturday Review proclaimed “a capital hit”:

  • 19  Review of Third Edition of Paul Ferroll. Saturday Review, vol. 1, 12 January 1856, 192.

‘Strikingly original’—‘a phenomenon in literature’—‘never to be forgotten’—‘grand and fearful force of contrast’—‘marvellous’—‘powerful effect’—‘faultless work of art’—‘admirable and almost awful power’—such are the praises of an applauding press. We beg to add the humble tribute of our homage19.

  • 20 Clive’s IX Poems by V [1840] had been glowingly reviewed in the Quarterly Review (Anon, “Modern Eng (...)

15Just as Jane Eyre was published as “An Autobiography” edited by Currer Bell, Paul Ferroll was not published under Clive’s own name but as “By the Author of IX Poems by V20”. Some, but not all, critics knew its author was a woman, as an American review indicates:

  • 21 Review of Paul Ferroll, July 1856, op. cit., 601.

We have no idea who the author of ‘Paul Ferroll’ is. The title-page says: ‘By the author of IX. Poems, by V.’ We should like to see those nine poems: they should be fine ones. A second rumour makes her an English lady. If this be true, Miss Bronte [sic] will leave a successor not altogether unworthy of her21.

16Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855) was a clergyman’s daughter who was conscious of the need to earn her own living, while Caroline Clive (1801-1873) was a member of the landed gentry who was wealthy in her own right. Both, however, led comparatively secluded early lives: Brontë because of her Haworth geography and familial tendency towards isolation, and Clive from lifelong lameness as a result of polio in infancy. Both grew up reading Romantic literature and idolizing the Duke of Wellington, and each received discouraging early responses to their poetry from male writers they approached for advice. Physically plain, small, and having experienced unrequited love, they both expected not to marry, yet eventually found happiness in marriage to men of the church. Well read, intelligent, and of critical and independent minds, Brontë and Clive wanted their literature to be judged on its merits rather than in specifically “feminine” terms.

  • 22  Quoted in Newman, op. cit., 448.

17In this they were to be frustrated. Reviewers repeatedly raised the question of authorial gender, discovering in both novels “masculine” qualities that were potentially damning should the authors prove to be women. To Brontë’s aggravation, one critic of Jane Eyre “‘praised the book if written by a man, and pronounced it “odious” if the work of a woman’22”. “[T]hough we cannot pronounce that it appertains to a real Mr. Currer Bell and to no other,” wrote Rigby:

  • 23  E. Rigby, op. cit.

yet that it appertains to a man, and not, as many assert, to a woman, we are strongly inclined to affirm […] if we ascribe the book to a woman at all, we have no alternative but to ascribe it to one who has, for some sufficient reason, long forfeited the society of her own sex23.

18Such gendered views were echoed in the critical judgements passed upon Paul Ferroll:

  • 24 Review of Paul Ferroll, October 1855, op. cit., 422.

We had made up our mind, from internal evidence, that Paul Ferroll was the work of a woman. Information to be depended upon confirms us in our surmise. We trust that the authoress will divert her rare power into some more salutary channel, and cease wrongfully to enlist our sympathies and our best feelings on the side of selfishness sublimated into crime24.

19“When Paul Ferroll, some six years ago, first took the literary world by surprise,” wrote another reviewer:

  • 25  Review of Why Paul Ferroll Killed His Wife.Saturday Review, vol. 10, 29 December 1860, 838.

we felt compelled to notice, in a very severe manner, much in the conception and execution of the work that seemed to us at variance with the ordinary English ideas of morality. If rumour spoke truly, the book was by a woman’s hand; but beyond a certain susceptibility and intuition displayed in the creation of the leading character, there was little feminine about it25.

  • 26  H. A. “Mrs Archer Clive”, Fraser’s Magazine, vol. 8, September 1873, 348.

20In words that might equally have been used of Brontë, an obituary of Clive termed her: “one of the noteworthy women of this century: distinguished for gifts unlike—we might almost write at variance with—the ordinary graces of her literary sisterhood26”.

  • 27 Quoted in Newman, op. cit., 447.
  • 28  A. E. Gavin, op. cit., xxii.
  • 29  “New Novelettes”, op. cit.,7.

21The unladylike characteristics of the two authors’ work were condemned in some quarters, but equally it was often “masculine” qualities that were found praiseworthy. Jane Eyre’s“masculine power, breadth, and shrewdness” were admired27, as were Clive’s “power, sinewed vision, [and] authorial detachment28”. “We are the more ready to canvass the strange moral of this story,” writes an early reviewer of Paul Ferroll, “from deference to the remarkable power with which it is written, and which is more remarkable still if its author be a lady29”.

  • 30  [C. Thompson], “Modern Style”, North British Review, vol. 26, n° 52, February 1857, 354.

22Writing on “Modern Style” in 1857, Cockburn Thompson states that while he does not “wholly sympathize with the unfeminine strides of a Mrs Shelley or a Mrs Clive30”, he deplores the “young-ladyism” that is infiltrating modern fiction. Among works by woman writers, he states:

  • 31 Ibid., 375.

Two, however, there are who have done more good than harm. ‘Jane Eyre’ and ‘Paul Ferroll’ may take their places where they list. Both preserve unity of interest, and are written with the hands of masters. In both the anxiety is brought to bear wholly upon the one character, and that anxiety is never lost for a moment […] and if we cannot accuse Miss Bronté [sic] and Mrs Clive of immoral writing, both, we fear, must meet the censure of the strict for upholding a bad moral, though in a kind, fond, womanly way31.

  • 32  Quoted in E. Gaskell, op. cit., 412.

23Few other critics used such words as “kind,” “fond,” or “womanly” in discussing these novels. The absence of clear moral messages in Jane Eyre and Paul Ferroll more usually marked them as distinctly unconventional and unfeminine. Jane Eyre herself has a strong sense of morality and religion, but her narrative advises readers neither to “do as I do’” nor to “do other than I do.” Brontë offers little moral message to readers, and nor can she have intended to. “‘I cannot write books handling the topics of the day,’” she told her publisher George Smith, “‘it is of no use trying. Nor can I write a book for its moral’32”.

  • 33  “Our Library Table”, Athenaeum, 18 August 1855, 947.

24Paul Ferroll goes even further by focusing on a murderer who fears neither law nor God and who lives a life of pleasure without any authorial judgement being passed upon him. Such amorality shocked readers: “We imagine that other readers besides ourselves will lay down the book in some perplexity as to the author’s intentions33”. Clive’s “detached, almost clinical, yet periodically amused, narrative tone,” reserved judgement on Ferroll

  • 34  A. E. Gavin, op. cit., viii-ix.

not to the author/narrator but absolutely to the reader. For the Victorian reader accustomed to didactic fiction, transparent moral messages, and novels in which good characters ultimately triumph and the bad are punished or learn the error of their ways, reading Paul Ferroll was an extremely unsettling experience34.

  • 35  M. Clive (ed.), Caroline Clive: From the Diary and Family Papers of Mrs Archer Clive (1801-1873), (...)
  • 36 Ibid., 252.
  • 37  Quoted in C. M. Lennox-Boyd, op. cit., 281.

25Elizabeth Rigby seems to have been less unsettled by Clive’s novel than by Brontë’s, perhaps because time had moved on, perhaps because she knew Clive personally. Given Rigby’s gendered comments on Jane Eyre, it is interesting that after first meeting her in 1846 Clive records in her diary: “Miss Rigby has something nameless about [her] which [is] Authoress more than Lady35”. She also interestingly observes: “It is surprising how little she knows of English literature considering that she is admitted as a contributor to the Quarterly and is a woman of very considerable power of composition36”. Having become Lady Eastlake upon her marriage, the former Miss Rigby wrote to Clive that she thought Paul Ferroll “‘very fine but very dreadful & I hope impossible.’” The current trial of Joseph Wooler for killing his wife with arsenic, however, she observed: “‘has come most opportunely to prove, I fear, that you are more right in your estimate of what human nature can dare to know than I wished you to be’37”.

26The probability of both plots was debated. Critics argued over whether a madwoman could be concealed in an attic or supernatural calls between lovers were possible as in Jane Eyre and over the realism of a gentleman enjoying a second marriage without a qualm after murdering his first wife in Paul Ferroll. Improbability was seen as a moral issue, as Rigby writes of Jane Eyre:

  • 38  E. Rigby, op. cit.

The reader may trace gross inconsistencies and improbabilities, the chief and foremost that highest moral offence a novel writer can commit, that of making an unworthy character interesting in the eyes of the reader. Mr. Rochester is a man who deliberately and secretly seeks to violate the laws of both God and man, and yet we will be bound half our lady readers are enchanted with him for a model of generosity and honour. We would have thought that such a hero had no chance, in the purer taste of the present day; but the popularity of Jane Eyre is a proof how deeply the love for illegitimate romance is implanted in our nature38.

27Reviewers of Paul Ferroll reiterated such sentiments:

  • 39  “The Literary Examiner”, Examiner, 8 September 1855, 565.

Without stickling for the exact proprieties in all respects, there are broad limits between good and evil that should never be confounded. Nor can any author fall into a more grievous mistake, a mistake more injurious both to author and readers, than to mix up detestable actions with motives that have an air of generosity and nobleness about them39.

  • 40  “The Author of Paul Ferroll”, National Review, vol. 12, April 1861, 498.
  • 41 Ibid., 497.

28“No man could enjoy, and, of all things in the world, enjoy purity, tenderness, angelic love, as Paul Ferroll does, with blood on his secret soul” declares one critic40. “It is the dream of a feminine idealism to fancy such a one […] the conception is ideal and not real41”.

29Jane Eyre became the gold standard against which other female-authored works were tested, especially when a similarity in plot or “masculine” qualities could be perceived. To some critics, however, the Brontë touchstone revealed not gold but dangerous dross. “The idea that fiction should contain something to soothe, to elevate, or to purify seems to be extinct,” wrote a critic in 1860:

  • 42  Review of George Eliot’s Scenes of Clerical Life, Adam Bede and The Mill on the Floss. Quarterly R (...)

In its stead there is a love for exploring what would be better left in obscurity; for portraying the wildness of passion and the harrowing miseries of mental conflict; for dark pictures of sin and remorse and punishment; for the discussion of questions which it is painful and revolting to think of42.

  • 43  C. M. Lennox-Boyd, op. cit., 51.

30Such works appealed to readers like Clive herself whose “taste in contemporary novels, to judge by those she refers to, tended towards the dramatic and eventful” and included Jane Eyre43. They alarmed some critics, however, as books that would

  • 44 Review of George Eliot’s Scenes … , op. cit.,498-499.

familiarize the minds of our young women in the middle and higher ranks with matters on which their fathers and brothers would never venture to speak in their presence. It is really frightful to think of the interest which we have ourselves heard such readers express in criminals like Paul Ferroll, and in sensual ruffians like Mr Rochester […]. We do not believe that any good end is to be effected by fictions which fill the mind with details of imaginary vice and distress and crime […]. Rather we believe that the effect of such fictions must be to render those who fall under their influence unfit for practical exertion; while they most assuredly do grievous harm in many cases, by intruding on minds which ought to be guarded from impurity [and] the unnecessary knowledge of evil44.

31Contemporary critics clearly saw similarities in the texts. In part, this was due to a tendency critically to corral women writers (or pseudonymous writers who might be suspected female) under the same head. With Jane Eyre having made such a significant impact, it also became seen as an Ur-text which might have inspired many female-authored novels, thus the suggestion that Paul Ferroll was “parasitical.” Yet notably Brontë herself feared charges of parasitism as Gaskell recounts:

  • 45  E. Gaskell, op. cit., 441.

I recollect, too, her saying how acutely she dreaded a charge of plagiarism, when, after she had written ‘Jane Eyre’; she read the thrilling effect of the mysterious scream at midnight in Mrs. Marsh’s story of the ‘Deformed.’ She also said that, when she read the ‘Neighbours,’ she thought every one would fancy that she must have taken her conception of Jane Eyre’s character from that of ‘Francesca,’ the narrator of Miss Bremer’s story. For my own part, I cannot see the slightest resemblance between the two characters, and so I told her; but she persisted in saying that Francesca was Jane Eyre married to a good-natured ‘Bear’ of a Swedish surgeon45.

  • 46 Chapple and Shelston list the letter as Gaskell to Mrs Archer Clive 9 Feb [?1856], 291. The letter (...)
  • 47  A. E. Gavin, op. cit., xxxix.

32Seen from particular perspectives similarities can be found between many texts. It is notable, however, that just as Gaskell sees no resemblance between Jane Eyre and the texts Brontë saw as similar, she leaves no recorded comment that she regarded Paul Ferroll as echoing Jane Eyre, yet she knew both novels and writers. Gaskell had recommended Clive’s novel to Hachette in 1855, but she also enabled Brontë’s publisher, George Smith of Smith, Elder and Company, to produce cheap editions of Paul Ferroll. Smith had published Gaskell’s own The Life of Charlotte Brontë in 1857 and in February 1858 Gaskell wrote a letter of introduction on his behalf to Clive46. As a result, Smith bought the copyright of Paul Ferroll for £50 for Smith, Elder and Company, publishing an edition of the novel in September 1858, with reprints in 1861 and 1862 and a further edition in 186547.

33WhileGaskell leaves no evidence that she regarded the two novels as similar, many readers clearly did. Despite obvious differences in protagonists, narrative voice, and structure, some resonances in plot and characterisation can be discerned. Jane Eyre’s sections on Jane’s childhood and her time with her Rivers cousins may not be mirrored by Clive, nor are Paul Ferroll’s two murders, two trials, or section set in France foreshadowed by Brontë, but Paul Ferroll can be seen as, in some ways, a reverberation of Edward Fairfax Rochester.

  • 48  Perhaps coincidentally, each house contains a servant called Mrs Poole. Grace Poole is a comparati (...)

34Rochester and Ferroll are both English gentlemen socially advantaged by gender and class, and the masters of ancient country houses. Symbolically named, Rochester’s battlemented Thornfield Hall indicates the field of thorns his life becomes, while Ferroll’s living at “The Tower” associates him with isolation, treachery, and execution. Outwardly the bastions of English tradition and social values, these houses harbour dark secrets48.

35The darkest secret in each case surrounds a first wife and the method the male protagonist has used to deal with an unfortunate marriage at a time before the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857 provided a pathway to divorce. Rochester and Ferroll have both been inveigled into marriage to a first wife they seek to be rid of and with whom they have no offspring. Both first wives are described as violent and disliked by servants. “[N]o servant could bear the continued outbreaks of [Bertha Rochester’s] violent and unreasonable temper, or the vexations of her absurd, contradictory, exacting orders” (Jane Eyre,306). Similarly “Mrs. Ferroll had been a woman of violent temper, and unpopular among her servants” (Paul Ferroll,6). Both husbands are initially highly restrained in reacting to their wives. Rochester states “‘I eschewed upbraiding, I curtailed remonstrance; I tried to devour my repentance and disgust in secret; I repressed the deep antipathy I felt’” (Jane Eyre,306). Ferroll, for his part is always “‘resolute not to quarrel’” (Paul Ferroll, 9).

36After a few years, each man takes dramatic action to rid himself of his unloved wife. Rochester by keeping Bertha secretly locked up as a madwoman in a third-storey room and Ferroll, “deepen[ing] the power and horror of the original,” by actually killing his first wife Anne as she sleeps. Following these actions both men spend long, implicitly sexually active periods in Europe; Rochester with a series of mistresses and Ferroll enjoying the bliss of early marriage to his second wife Elinor.

37Rochester does not meet Jane until many years after Bertha’s domestic incarceration, while Ferroll marries Elinor soon after murdering her predecessor. Both men, however, plan to marry these second wives in ways that are selfish, immoral, and criminal. Rochester, were he to succeed in marrying Jane on his first attempt, would be a bigamist, as he himself admits: “‘Bigamy is an ugly word!—I meant, however, to be a bigamist’” (Jane Eyre,291). Similarly, Ferroll confesses that killing his first wife was a crime that he “‘resolved […] to commit, and also to conceal” (Paul Ferroll,201). Although for Rochester and Jane, as for Ferroll and Elinor, love is mutual and marriage is desired by both parties, in each case the would-be husband has immorally concealed evidence from his intended, whose innocence he also proclaims.

38In keeping these skeletons in the cupboard Ferroll and Rochester demonstrate a self-centred concern with their own desires that gives little thought to the impact that future revelation of these secrets might have on the lives and—crucially in the Victorian period—reputations of their intended wives. When these secrets do emerge the impact is devastating. For Jane, who will not accept a role as Rochester’s mistress, it means her self-expulsion into the wilderness away from the man she loves: “Mr Rochester was not to me what he had been, for he was not what I thought him. I would not ascribe vice to him; I would not say he had betrayed me: but the attribute of stainless truth was gone from his idea; and from his presence I must go” (Jane Eyre,296). For Elinor, her health already weakened by Ferroll’s trial for killing the worker Skenfrith, it means shock-induced death when she reads Ferroll’s letter confessing to the murder of the first Mrs Ferroll eighteen years before. Despite this appalling revelation she, like Jane, quickly forgives; her dying words to their daughter being “‘Save him—die for him’” (Paul Ferroll, 210).

39Rochester and Ferroll are prepared to dishonour themselves and their second wives for love. This might be seen as nobly putting true love above all else were it not for the cruel streaks in their natures that see them using their positions of power to test their lovers’ feelings in heartless and selfish ways. Rochester’s pretence to Jane that he is going to marry Blanche Ingram and that she is to be sent to a post in Ireland when in fact he is about to propose to her causes Jane to “so[b] convulsively […] shaken from head to foot with acute distress” (Jane Eyre,252). Ferroll feigns illness to gain Elinor’s undivided attention and, oblivious to the stress, worry, and toll on her health he causes, tells her he is to be hanged for the killing of Skenfrith even though he knows a pardon is likely. Rochester asks Jane “‘you could dare censure for my sake?’” (Jane Eyre,205), while Ferroll repeatedly assesses Elinor’s feelings for him by asking after he has shot Skenfrith “‘suppose I were called a murderer—was a murderer, could you be faithful still, love me, no matter what I was; never change?’” (Paul Ferroll, 80). The questions both men really want answered are: if you knew the truth would you still love me? and would you live with me in my sin?

40Ferroll and Rochester display little regard for how their actions impact on their loved ones or indeed on others around them. Tellingly, both express a dislike of children. Rochester reveals to Jane soon after they meet: “‘I am not fond of the prattle of children […] for, old bachelor as I am, I have no pleasant associations connected with their lisp. It would be intolerable to me to pass a whole evening tête-à-tête with a brat’” (Jane Eyre, 129). “Children give me an unpleasant feeling naturally,” Ferroll writes in his diary, “they are slimy; the water is apt to run out of their mouths; their noses are out of order; one fancies the nurses pawing them all over to wash them” (Paul Ferroll, 48). Rochester provides materially and educationally for his putative daughter Adèle, but is physically and emotionally distant from her. Planning to drive to Millcote after their engagement, he tells Jane that he does not want Adèle to come: “‘I’ll have no brats!—I’ll have only you’” (Jane Eyre, 265). Ferroll similarly marginalizes his daughter Janet in her infancy, insisting that even her mother pay her little attention:

The whole tenderness of Mr. Ferroll’s nature was centered in his wife; and anything that interfered with that passion he put aside. He would have her devote herself to him, not to her child; he would have no nursing, no teaching, no preference of a dawdle with Janet to the walk with him, or the long summer day’s expedition. The nursery was Janet’s place, a governess her teacher; she came to her mother when her mother was alone (Paul Ferroll, 24).

41Writing in 1897, Adeline Sergeant suggests that Paul Ferroll may have been:

  • 49  A. Sergeant, “Mrs. Archer Clive”, inWomen Novelists of Queen Victoria’s Reign: A Book of Appreciat (...)

successful, most of all, because it introduced its readers to a new sensation. Hitherto they had been taught to look on the hero of a novel as necessarily a noble and virtuous being, endowed with heroic, not to say angelic qualities; but this conviction was now to be reversed. The change was undoubtedly startling. Even Scott had not got beyond the tradition of a good young man as hero, a tradition which the Brontës and Mrs. Archer Clive were destined to break down49.

  • 50  A. E. Gavin, op. cit., viii.
  • 51  M. Clive, op. cit., 278.
  • 52  O. Elton, A Survey of English Literature 1830-1880, London: Edward Arnold, 1920, vol. 2, 223.

42Startling these heroes certainly were. Rochester remains one of the most darkly magnetic heroes of Victorian fiction while to “the horror and intrigue of Victorian readers, Paul Ferroll was a fusion of the most attractive and most abhorrent qualities in an English gentleman50”. As Mary Clive points out, however, the claim that Caroline Clive “originated the villain-cum-hero type,” cannot be substantiated: “Mr Rochester had preceded Mr Ferroll by eleven [sic] years, and The Corsair by even more51”. Oliver Elton in 1920 describes Ferroll as “a woman’s Byronic man, a volcano covered with ice52”. Like Rochester, he is a Byronic hero: aloof, proud, and mysterious, powerful yet pained, admirable but cruel.

  • 53  [M. Oliphant], “Modern Novelists—Great and Small” [Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine,May 1855, 554-56 (...)
  • 54 Ibidem.
  • 55 Ibid., 558.
  • 56 Ibid., 559.

43Commenting on woman writers shortly before Paul Ferroll appeared, Margaret Oliphant claimed that “the most alarming revolution of modern times has followed the invasion of Jane Eyre53”. “[N]obody perceived that [the “grossness of the book”] was the new generation nailing its colours to its mast. No one would understand that this furious love-making was but a wild declaration of the ‘Rights of Woman’ in a new aspect54”. Although to her mind “Jane Eyre remains one of the most remarkable works of modern times55”, Oliphant was concerned that it influenced portrayals of women as gladiators to be battled and conquered in a war of love by men who were marked more than anything by strength56.

  • 57  L. P. Stebbins, A Victorian Album: Some Lady Novelists of the Period, London: Secker & Warburg, 19 (...)
  • 58  E. Rigby, op. cit.

44Rochester and Ferroll are both strong, powerful men who transgress standard morality in seeking to gain the women they love. Lucy Poate Stebbins suggests that Brontë and Clive “were captivated by the idea of masculine power, but the matron, more fastidious than the spinster, insisted upon elegance and subtlety […] few writers have created so well-bred and coolly courteous a monster” as Ferroll57. More heartless than Rochester, Ferroll also has more surface charm, yet Rigby’s claims about Rochester are equally applicable to him; “[he is] blunt and sarcastic in his manners, with a kind of misanthropical frankness, which seems based upon utter contempt for his fellow-creatures, and a surly truthfulness which is more rudeness than honesty”58.

  • 59 Ibid.

45Mrs Fairfax’s response to Jane’s early questions about Rochester’s character reflect how Ferroll’s own servants might have answered: “‘Oh! His character is unimpeachable, I suppose. He is rather peculiar, perhaps […] you cannot always be sure whether he is in jest or earnest, whether he is pleased or the contrary; you don’t thoroughly understand him, in short’” (Jane Eyre, 105). Similarly, Rigby’s description of Rochester’s “self-constituted code of morality” by which “he had thought it his right, and even his duty, to supersede [his first wife] by a more agreeable companion59” is clearly echoed in Ferroll’s own idiosyncratic code of honour.

46Both men seek absolute control, all the more perhaps as a result of the loss of control they experienced in being, they maintain, tricked into their first marriages. Ferroll, in particular, will not subject himself to the slings and arrows of any kind of fortune, instead ensuring that it is always he who holds the bow. Yet both live with the knowledge that their secret might come out at any time, which is, Rochester states, like “‘stand[ing] on a crater-crust which may crack and spue fire any day’” (Jane Eyre,216).

  • 60  S. Cust, Granny’s Diary and Other Sketches, London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent, 1923, 23.

47Critics saw Rochester and Ferroll as powerful creations but objected to their malformed morality and their subversion of mid-Victorian ideals of gentlemanly behaviour. This subversion of class expectations is one way in which the novels “stand together at the head of the long line of sensational and mystery stories of the latter half of the nineteenth century, and mark a new departure in fiction60”. As Sergeant states:

  • 61  A. Sergeant, op. cit., 171-172.

‘Paul Ferroll’ may be considered as the precursor of the purely sensational novel, or of what may be called the novel of mystery. Miss Brontë in ‘Jane Eyre’ uses to some extent the same kind of material, but her work is far more a study of character than the story of ‘Paul Ferroll’ can claim to be. In ‘Paul Ferroll,’ indeed, the analysis of motive is entirely absent […]. No description of the human heart has been attempted. The picture of the violent, revengeful, strongly passionate nature of the man is forcible enough, but it is displayed by action and not by introspection61.

  • 62  S. Cust, op. cit., 22.
  • 63  A. Sergeant, op. cit., 165.

48Except for a thirteen-page extract from a journal that Ferroll keeps jointly with Elinor (as Clive did with her husband), Paul Ferroll is not a first-person narrative nor an introspective novel in the sense that Jane Eyre is. Critics could claim nevertheless that it was “a deep and vivid study of characters, achieved by extraordinarily simple means62”. The key difference in delineation between Rochester and Ferroll is correctly identified by Sergeant when she writes: “Mrs. Clive’s picture of the ‘bold bad man’ is not so successful as that of Charlotte Brontë’s Rochester. Rochester, with all his faults, commands sympathy, but our sympathies are alienated from Paul Ferroll63”.

49Rochester ultimately loses his selfishness and power and suffers physically as well as emotionally, to a point where he “experience[s] remorse, repentence; the wish for reconcilement to [his] Maker” (Jane Eyre,446). Emotionally distraught after Jane leaves, he suffers physical “punishment” too after nobly attempting to save Bertha from the fire she has set at Thornfield. Losing one eye, becoming blind in the other eye, and having a hand amputated sends him an almost biblical message:

  • 64  Matthew 5: 29-30, (Authorized Version).

if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out […]. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell64.

50Brought low, Rochester repents of his immoral actions, looks to God, and, when he and Jane finally marry, they marry as equals. His power has lessened while her inheritance has raised her up. In Victorian terms their marriage is a relationship of reciprocity and equality grounded in real love.

51Ferroll, by contrast, experiences a life-threatening fall while he is in France which briefly shakes his sense of invincibility, but he is swiftly back to his superior and selfish ways and does not modify his actions or self-regard in any way. He never expresses regret, repentance, guilt, or apology for his crimes and, significantly for a Victorian novel, does not pray to God for forgiveness. His grief over the loss of Elinor is not profound; his need to have someone totally devoted to him is now simply fulfilled by the daughter he neglected in her youth. Ferroll does not suffer for his behaviour nor is he punished. He dies, but he dies unvanquished. His inhumane lack of empathy and the novel’s detached narrative tone mark him as outside the bounds of reader sympathy without actually condemning him.

  • 65  “Notice”, op. cit., 285.
  • 66 Ibidem.

52The obituary of Clive which claimed that Paul Ferroll’s “object seems to have been to deepen the power and horror of [Jane Eyre] and at the same time to produce something less brutal65”, judged that “Within these limits [Paul Ferroll] is a distinguished success, but though less improbable it is more unreal; Jane Eyre, with all its faults, contains genuine passion66”. The point about passion is revealing. Passion lies at the heart of Jane Eyre and Jane Eyre in ways which do not have their equivalents in either Paul Ferroll or its protagonist. At the heart of Jane Eyre is a powerfully emotional and passionate love story in which both lovers suffer before they are finally united in happiness. Paul Ferroll involves mutual passion of a kind, but more central is Ferroll’s peculiar behaviour, detached criminality, and dislocated, probably psychopathic, personality. Ferroll does not suffer for his love nor is he brought down in the end. His self-will and lurid idiosyncrasies are far more inexplicable than Rochester’s behaviour. We cannot imagine Rochester, for example, laughing as Ferroll does while he observes death and suffering during a cholera epidemic.

53Nor does Rochester react after Bertha’s arsons or her knife attack on Mason in the febrile way that Ferroll does after he prevents a mad, knife-wielding butler from burning down his neighbour Lady Lucy Bartlett’s house:

Mr. Ferroll tried his very best to look grave also, and to compose his sensations to a due harmony with the nerves of Lady Lucy […] but he was like a man slightly intoxicated […]. The excitement had roused up every power of life; and his wit, his knowledge, his force of character, were all in activity. He enjoyed life, and no nervousness about himself, or sensibility to the sufferings of another, disturbed him (Paul Ferroll, 34).

54Ferroll rarely displays “sensibility to the sufferings of another”. The narrative presents him as a strangely attractive yet repellent specimen for observation, but readers do not feel with him as an erring being who ultimately seeks redemption. Jane, and Rochester elicit reader empathy and it seems right that after torment and anguish they are ultimately together as equals. With Ferroll and Elinor there is no equality, and the nature of Ferroll’s love is questionable.

  • 67  A. E. Gavin, op. cit., xxiii-xxiv.
  • 68  E. Partridge, “A Note on Paul Ferroll”, Paul Ferroll by Mrs. Archer Clive, London, Scholartis Pres (...)

55Brontë and Clive depict romantic and sexual passion in boundary-breaking ways. Rochester speaks openly to the decades younger Jane of his past mistresses, including Adèle ’s mother, while “Ferroll’s concealed life of crime, excessive passion, and high-risk behaviour” are repeatedly connected with his passion for Elinor67. When Elinor is briefly away tending their sick daughter, Ferroll gallops his horse furiously in the middle of the night, bathes naked under a waterfall, but still “can’t go to bed—why should I, when that lace border is not there, that forehead fleshy-white under the muslin whiteness; that frail, pliant hand, which seems to squeeze altogether in mine” (Paul Ferroll, 49). As Eric Partridge observes, Paul Ferroll is “sexually-audacious” for its time68.

  • 69  J. A., “Paul Ferroll, and Why Paul Ferroll Killed His Wife”, The Ladies’ Cabinet of Fashion, 1 Mar (...)

56Ferroll’s passion for Elinor, unlike Rochester’s for Jane, is in itself skewed. Obsessive and possessive, his feelings for her often border on a death wish. Returning from visiting a cholera-hit area he records in his diary: “‘[Elinor] kissed me twenty times today, as if to make sure that if I had caught the cholera, she must catch it too. And if I had, I should like to give it her, and die’” (Paul Ferroll, 39). “‘Oh, but I only think of myself,’” he tells her on another occasion, “‘you must think of only me” (Paul Ferroll, 68). Elinor, as one reviewer comments, is “so ductile that her personality becomes absorbed in his69”. This is not the case with Jane who from the outset stands her ground with Rochester, demanding that he see her as a person in her own right.

57It is Jane, of course, who is protagonist of Brontë’s novel, just as Ferroll is of Clive’s, therefore despite obvious differences in gender and position it is worth considering whether they share any similarities. Spirited and independent by nature, they do both have firm codes of honour and insist on being accepted on their own terms. In some respects anti-heroes, they are both isolated by circumstance, yearn for activity, and observe from the margins. The words Rigby uses in her review to denounce Jane seem more applicable to Ferroll than to Jane herself:

  • 70  E. Rigby, op. cit.

Jane Eyre is throughout the personification of an unregenerate and undisciplined spirit, the more dangerous [for a book] to exhibit from that prestige of principle and self-control which is liable to dazzle the eye too much for it to observe the inefficient and unsound foundation on which it rests […] No Christian grace is perceptible upon her. She has inherited in fullest measure the worst sin of our fallen nature—the sin of pride. […] The doctrine of humility is not more foreign to her mind than it is repudiated by her heart. It is by her own talents, virtues, and courage that she is made to attain the summit of human happiness, and, as far as Jane Eyre’s own statement is concerned, no one would think that she owed anything either to God above or to man below70.

  • 71  Clive’s next novel Year After Year (1858), the first-person narrative of a plain, dependent, illeg (...)

58Despite Rigby’s claims, Jane’s religious faith is strong except, as she admits, when she is first engaged to Rochester: “He stood between me and every thought of religion […]. I could not, in those days, see God for his creature: of whom I had made an idol” (Jane Eyre,274). By contrast, any sense of religion is absent in Ferroll. He seeks instead to be the object of idolatry. Jane’s plea “Grant me at least a new servitude!” (Jane Eyre,85) would never be uttered by Ferroll; he serves no master but himself. His selfishness is as absolute in its own way as Jane’s self-denial. Powerful creations, Jane and Ferroll are the fundamental attractions of these novels for readers, but they are very different characters71.

59Paul Ferroll and Jane Eyre were linked by contemporary criticism in ways that went beyond simply using Jane Eyre as a standard against which any female writing might be judged. Victorian critics praised both novels but also condemned them for unconventional, shocking, and masculine qualities. To claim that Clive’s was a “parasitical book” is over strong and denies her own bold artistic creation. Paul Ferroll does, however, echo Jane Eyre in its portrayal of a powerful, Byronic hero who has a dark secret about his first wife. Highly self-regarding, proud, and selfish Rochester and Ferroll are gentlemen anti-heroes who engage in ignoble and criminal actions.

60“‘[T]o each villain his own vice,’” Rochester tells Jane, “‘mine is not a tendency to indirect assassination, even of what I most hate’” (Jane Eyre,300). Clive “deepen[s] the power and horror of the original,” by having her hero twice assassinate directly. In an early conversation with Jane, Rochester accuses her of cruel comment by stating metaphorically “‘you stick a sly penknife under my ear!’” (Jane Eyre,131). Ferroll actualizes this image by literally stabbing his first wife with “a sharp-pointed knife” (Paul Ferroll, 8), just “below the ear” (Paul Ferroll,7). Rochester is offered textual redemption through his emotional suffering, the injuries he sustains in trying to save Bertha, his human fallibility and moral growth, and the sense readers are given of his real love for Jane. Ferroll, however, is so untouched by guilt, regret, repentance, human empathy, or anything outside himself that readers have no grounds on which to sympathize with him. Even his grief over Elinor’s death is slight and he suffers neither legal nor poetic punishment for his actions. Ferroll ultimately has the dislocated personality of a criminal psychopath and power and horror cannot get much deeper than that.

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Bibliographie

“The Author of Paul Ferroll”, National Review, vol. 12, April 1861, 489-499.

BRONTË Charlotte, Jane Eyre, Margaret Smith (ed.), Oxford World’s Classics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, [1847] 2000.

CHAPPLE John & Alan SHELSTON (eds.), Further Letters of Mrs. Gaskell, Manchester: Manchester UP, 2000.

CLIVE Caroline, Paul Ferroll, Adrienne E. Gavin (ed.), Kansas City: Valancourt, [1855] 2008.

CLIVE Mary (ed.), Caroline Clive:From the Diary and Family Papers of Mrs Archer Clive (1801-1873), London: The Bodley Head, 1949.

CUST Sybil, Granny’s Diary and Other Sketches, London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent, 1923.

DAVIES James, “The Poems and Novels of the Author of ‘Paul Ferroll’”, The Contemporary Review, vol. 23, January 1874, 197-217.

ELTON Oliver, A Survey of English Literature 1830-1880, 2 vols., London: Edward Arnold, 1920.

FLOWER Desmond, A Century of Best Sellers 1830-1930, London: National Book Council, 1934.

GASKELL Elizabeth, The Life of Charlotte Brontë, Angus Easson (ed.), Oxford: Oxford UP, [1857] 1996.

GAVIN Adrienne E., Introduction and Note on the Text, in Caroline Clive, Paul Ferroll, Kansas City: Valancourt Books, [1855] 2008, vii-xxxii, xxxix-xl.

H. A., “Mrs Archer Clive”, Fraser’s Magazine, vol. 8, September 1873, 348-352.

J. A., “Paul Ferroll, and Why Paul Ferroll Killed His Wife”, The Ladies’ Cabinet of Fashion, 1 March 1861, 209-213.

LENNOX-BOYD Charlotte Mary, “The Literary Career of Caroline Clive (1801-1873)”,PhD dissertation, University College, London, 1989.

“The Literary Examiner”, Examiner,8 September 1855, 564-566.

“Michael Faraday”, Saint Paul’s Magazine, vol. 6, June 1870, 292-303.

“New Novelettes”, Times,2 February 1856, 7.

NEWMAN Beth, “A Critical History of Jane Eyrein Beth Newman (ed.), Charlotte Brontë. Jane Eyre, Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martin’s Press, 1996, 445-458.

“Notice of Death of Mrs. Archer Clive”, The Academy, vol. 4, 1 August 1873, 285.

[OLIPHANT Margaret], “Modern Novelists—Great and Small”, [Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine,May 1855, 554-568]. Reprinted in NADEL Ira Bruce (ed.), Victorian Fiction: A Collection of Essays from the Period, New York: Garland Publishing, 1986, 554-568.

“Our Library Table”, Athenaeum, 18 August 1855, 947-948.

PARTRIDGE Eric, “A Note on Paul Ferroll”, in Mrs. Archer Clive, Paul Ferroll, London: Scholartis Press, 1929, 6-7.

Review of George Eliot’s Scenes of Clerical Life, Adam Bede and The Mill on the Floss. Quarterly Review, vol. 108, n° 216, October 1860, 469-499.

Review of Paul Ferroll: A Tale. By the Author of ‘IX Poems by V.’ New QuarterlyReview, vol. 4, October 1855, 420-422.

Review of Paul Ferroll, New York: Redfield Edition.The United States Democratic Review, vol. 37, n° 7, July 1856, 600-601.

Review of Third Edition of Paul Ferroll. Saturday Review, vol. 1, 12 January 1856, 192-193.

Review of Why Paul Ferroll Killed His Wife. Saturday Review, vol. 10, 29 December 1860, 838-839.

[RIGBY Elizabeth], “Vanity Fair and Jane Eyre”, Quarterly Review, vol. 84, n° 167, December 1848, 153-185. The Brontës: Texts, Sources, and Criticism. <http://faculty.plattsburgh.edu/peter.friesen/default.asp?go=252>, 27 Nov. 2008.

SALA George Augustus, “How I Went to Court: A Proud Confession”, Belgravia: A London Magazine, vol. 3, May 1874, 294-304.

SERGEANT Adeline, “Mrs. Archer Clive”, inWomen Novelists of Queen Victoria's Reign: A Book of Appreciation, London: Hurst & Blackett, 1897. 161-173.

STEBBINS Lucy Poate, A Victorian Album: Some Lady Novelists of the Period, London: Secker & Warburg, 1946.

[THOMPSON Cockburn], “Modern Style.” North British Review, vol. 26, n° 52, February 1857, 339-375.

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Notes

1 Review of Paul Ferroll: A Tale. By the Author of ‘IX Poems by V.’ New Quarterly Review, vol. 4, October 1855, 420.

2  Review of Paul Ferroll. New York: Redfield Edition. The United States Democratic Review, vol.  37, n°7, July 1856, 601.

3  “New Novelettes.” Times, 2 February 1856, 7.

4  C. M. Lennox-Boyd, “The Literary Career of Caroline Clive (1801-1873)”,PhD dissertation,University College, London, 1989, 294.

5  “Notice of Death of Mrs. Archer Clive”, The Academy, vol. 4, 1 August 1873, 285.

6  “Michael Faraday”, Saint Paul’s Magazine, vol. 6, June 1870, 296.

7  B. Newman, “A Critical History of Jane Eyre”, in B. Newman (ed.), Charlotte Brontë. Jane Eyre. Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism, Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martin’s Press, 1996, 445.

8  E. Gaskell, The Life of Charlotte Brontë [1857], Oxford: Oxford UP, 1996, 295.

9  [E. Rigby], “Vanity Fair and Jane Eyre”, Quarterly Review, vol. 84, n° 167, December 1848, 153-185. The Brontës: Texts, Sources, and Criticism. <http://faculty.plattsburgh.edu/peter.friesen/default.asp?go=252> [accessed 27 Nov. 2008].

10 Review of Paul Ferroll,October 1855, op. cit., 422.

11  Letter to Louis Hachette, 29 October 1855, in J. Chapple & A. Shelston (eds.), Further Letters of Mrs. Gaskell, Manchester: Manchester UP, 2000, 145.

12  D. Flower, A Century of Best Sellers 1830-1930, London National Book Council, 1934, 11.

13  J. Davies, “The Poems and Novels of the Author of ‘Paul Ferroll’”, The Contemporary Review, vol. 23, January 1874, 205.

14  G. A. Sala, “How I Went to Court: A Proud Confession”, Belgravia: A London Magazine, vol. 3, May 1874, 304.

15  “New Novelettes”, op. cit., 7.

16  A.E. Gavin, Introduction and Note on the Text, in Caroline Clive, Paul Ferroll [1855], Kansas City: Valancourt Books, 2008, xvi.

17 Jane Eyre, of course, also inspired a prequel about the courtship and marriage of a first wife: Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea (1966).

18  E. Gaskell, op. cit., 247.

19  Review of Third Edition of Paul Ferroll. Saturday Review, vol. 1, 12 January 1856, 192.

20 Clive’s IX Poems by V [1840] had been glowingly reviewed in the Quarterly Review (Anon, “Modern English Poetesses.” Quarterly Review, vol.66, September 1840, 374-418). Her pseudonym V was the initial letter of “Vigolina,” a nickname given to her by her future husband Archer Clive. The nickname was a Latinate form of her maiden name Wigley (Clive’s surname at birth was Wigley, but in 1811 her father added her mother’s family name, Meysey, to the family surname making her from then until her marriage Caroline Meysey Wigley).

21 Review of Paul Ferroll, July 1856, op. cit., 601.

22  Quoted in Newman, op. cit., 448.

23  E. Rigby, op. cit.

24 Review of Paul Ferroll, October 1855, op. cit., 422.

25  Review of Why Paul Ferroll Killed His Wife.Saturday Review, vol. 10, 29 December 1860, 838.

26  H. A. “Mrs Archer Clive”, Fraser’s Magazine, vol. 8, September 1873, 348.

27 Quoted in Newman, op. cit., 447.

28  A. E. Gavin, op. cit., xxii.

29  “New Novelettes”, op. cit.,7.

30  [C. Thompson], “Modern Style”, North British Review, vol. 26, n° 52, February 1857, 354.

31 Ibid., 375.

32  Quoted in E. Gaskell, op. cit., 412.

33  “Our Library Table”, Athenaeum, 18 August 1855, 947.

34  A. E. Gavin, op. cit., viii-ix.

35  M. Clive (ed.), Caroline Clive: From the Diary and Family Papers of Mrs Archer Clive (1801-1873), London, The Bodley Head, 1949, 250.

36 Ibid., 252.

37  Quoted in C. M. Lennox-Boyd, op. cit., 281.

38  E. Rigby, op. cit.

39  “The Literary Examiner”, Examiner, 8 September 1855, 565.

40  “The Author of Paul Ferroll”, National Review, vol. 12, April 1861, 498.

41 Ibid., 497.

42  Review of George Eliot’s Scenes of Clerical Life, Adam Bede and The Mill on the Floss. Quarterly Review, vol. 108, n° 216, October 1860, 498.

43  C. M. Lennox-Boyd, op. cit., 51.

44 Review of George Eliot’s Scenes … , op. cit.,498-499.

45  E. Gaskell, op. cit., 441.

46 Chapple and Shelston list the letter as Gaskell to Mrs Archer Clive 9 Feb [?1856], 291. The letter is more likely to be from 1858 as Clive refers to Gaskell’s biography of Brontë in her response which is quoted in Lennox-Boyd, op. cit., 400.

47  A. E. Gavin, op. cit., xxxix.

48  Perhaps coincidentally, each house contains a servant called Mrs Poole. Grace Poole is a comparatively minor character in Jane Eyre but is privy to Thornfield’s greatest secret. Clive’s Mrs Poole, mentioned only once in the novel, is an even more minor character but she is also mentioned as someone who carries out her master’s instructions.

49  A. Sergeant, “Mrs. Archer Clive”, inWomen Novelists of Queen Victoria’s Reign: A Book of Appreciation, London: Hurst & Blackett, 1897, 172.

50  A. E. Gavin, op. cit., viii.

51  M. Clive, op. cit., 278.

52  O. Elton, A Survey of English Literature 1830-1880, London: Edward Arnold, 1920, vol. 2, 223.

53  [M. Oliphant], “Modern Novelists—Great and Small” [Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine,May 1855, 554-568], reprinted in I. B. Nadel (ed.), Victorian Fiction: A Collection of Essays from the Period, New York: Garland Publishing, 1986, 557.

54 Ibidem.

55 Ibid., 558.

56 Ibid., 559.

57  L. P. Stebbins, A Victorian Album: Some Lady Novelists of the Period, London: Secker & Warburg, 1946, 14.

58  E. Rigby, op. cit.

59 Ibid.

60  S. Cust, Granny’s Diary and Other Sketches, London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent, 1923, 23.

61  A. Sergeant, op. cit., 171-172.

62  S. Cust, op. cit., 22.

63  A. Sergeant, op. cit., 165.

64  Matthew 5: 29-30, (Authorized Version).

65  “Notice”, op. cit., 285.

66 Ibidem.

67  A. E. Gavin, op. cit., xxiii-xxiv.

68  E. Partridge, “A Note on Paul Ferroll”, Paul Ferroll by Mrs. Archer Clive, London, Scholartis Press, 1929, 7.

69  J. A., “Paul Ferroll, and Why Paul Ferroll Killed His Wife”, The Ladies’ Cabinet of Fashion, 1 March 1861, 209.

70  E. Rigby, op. cit.

71  Clive’s next novel Year After Year (1858), the first-person narrative of a plain, dependent, illegitimate young woman, alone in the world after her beloved brother dies, features a far more Jane Eyre-like protagonist.

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La Revue LISA/LISA e-journal, Vol. VII - n°4, 2009

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Adrienne E. Gavin, « “deepen[ing] the power and horror of the original”: Caroline Clive’s Paul Ferroll as Descendant of Jane Eyre », Revue LISA/LISA e-journal [En ligne], Vol. VII – n°4 | 2009, mis en ligne le 28 juillet 2009, consulté le 22 août 2017. URL : http://lisa.revues.org/839 ; DOI : 10.4000/lisa.839

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Adrienne E. Gavin

Adrienne E. Gavin is a Reader in English at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK who specializes in Victorian literature, children’s literature, and crime fiction. She is author of Dark Horse: A Life of Anna Sewell (Sutton 2004), editor of Caroline Clive’s Paul Ferroll (Valancourt 2008), and co-editor of Mystery in Children’s Literature (with C. Routledge, Palgrave Macmillan 2001), The Re-embroidered Robe (with S. Bray and P. Merchant, 2008), and Childhood in Edwardian Fiction (with A. Humphries, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009).

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