Thomas Henry Lister
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There is good work in Granby, with its fine, manly hero and its baseborn, reckless, but not unattractive villain. Lister moves easily among titles of nobility, and, in the course of this story, presents us with an aristocratic coxcomb whom it is difficult not to regard as a perverted Darcy. Lister is clever at smart conversation and he succeeds in conveying an impression of a real world, inhabited by real people.
This edition contains also Lister’s A Dialogue for the Year 2130 and The Fortunes of a Modern Crichton
If we were required to define Granby by comparison, we should say that it most nearly resembles the admirable novels of Miss Austen.—There is the same nicely accurate painting, the same vraisemblance, the same truth and simplicity in Granby, which throw so powerful a charm over the pages of Pride and Prejudice, and the other productions of the same delightful pen. — The New Monthly Magazine, January 1826
The main question as to a novel is—did it amuse? were you surprised at dinner coming so soon? did you mistake eleven for ten, and twelve for eleven? were you too late to dress? and did you sit up beyond the usual hour? If a novel produces these effects, it is good; if it does not—story, language, love, scandal itself, cannot save it. It is only meant to please; and it must do that, or it does nothing. Now, Granby seems to us to answer this test extremely well; it produces unpunctuality, makes the reader too late for dinner, impatient of contradiction, and inattentive. — The Edinburgh Review, February 1826
There is much that is worthy of admiration in the work before us. The style in which it is written is remarkably simple, fluent, and idiomatic. Sometimes it rises to a degree of elegance, particularly where the author is engaged in describing a fine landscape, or in reporting the conversations of his favourite personages. — The Monthly Review, 1826
Thomas Henry Lister’s (1800-1842) several novels include Granby (1826), Herbert Lacy (1828), and Arlington (1832). He was also the author of a Life of Clarendon. In 1830, he published a story entitled A Dialogue for the Year 2130, which might be described as an early example of science fiction or 'futuristic' writing. In 1836 he was appointed as the first Registrar General for England and Wales, to head the new General Register Office. He was responsible for setting up the system of civil registration of births, deaths and marriages, and organisation of the 1841 UK Census. He died of tuberculosis in 1842.