Mrs. Georgiana Dickens was apparently the pen name of an English writer whose stories were very popular with the hoi polloi. Many of her novels were published in The Family Herald. The only data found which may lead to the determination of her identity are various articles in this periodical with the signatures "C.C." and "Cons.", followed by the words "By the author of 'Lord Roth's Sin'." "Lord Roth's Sin" is one of the novels reprinted by Beadle as by Mrs. Georgiana Dickens or "By the author of 'High Degree'."
† The initials "C. C." were used by three English authors, Charles Coghlan, a dramatist, Charles Chorley, a translator of foreign books and a writer of verse, and Charles Clark, a composer, an amateur printer of his own songs, and a writer of sketches and stories for The Sportsman, The Literary Gazette, and The Family Herald(1) All of these men wrote during the same years, but of these, only the last need be considered, for the author in question was a writer for the Family Herald. Only by a roundabout way can we arrive at any connection between Charles Clark and "Georgiana Dickens."
† The first novel printed by Beadle under the name "Georgiana Dickens" was "The Rothcourt Heir; or, Betrothed at the Cradle." It appeared as a serial in Belles and Beaux between January 31 and February 28, 1874, and was reprinted by Beadle eight years later, May 30, 1882, as "Lord Roth's Sin: or, Betrothed at the Cradle," in No. 133 of the Waverley Library. The story is identical with one which appeared under the latter title as a serial in The Family Herald, between November 15 and December 27, 1873. Unfortunately this had in the by-line only "By the author 'Of High Degree,' " but at the end of the last installment were the letters "C. C.", which, according to the Family Herald custom, were the initials of the author. "Of High Degree," which had appeared in the Family Herald in 1873 also, had no author's name, but was similarly signed "C. C.," which left us at a dead end with only these initials as a clue. A number of other stories were found in the Family Herald with the by-line "By the author of Lord Roth's Sin." Thus "A Lady of Honour," 1874, had this by-line as well as a signature "C. C." at the end. Also with this by-line were "A Castle of Cards," 1876, and "Between Ebb and Flow," 1877, but each was signed at the end "Cons." None gave the author's true name. "Cons" is rather disturbing, for if the signature represents the author's name, then "Cons," unlike "C. C.," hardly applies to Charles Clark. "Cons" as a pen name is given in no list of pseudonyms known to me.
† Two more stories under Georgiana Dickens' name and having English locales followed nine years after Beadle's publication of "Lord Roth's Sin." "A Scathing Ordeal; or, May Langley's Mad Marriage" appeared in the Waverley Library, No. 164, on January 2,1883, and "The Cost of a Folly; or, "Mistaken Love" in No. 173, March 6, 1883. The original sources of these two novels were not found, but they probably appeared also in the Family Herald (no complete file of this publication was accessible to me).
† Now came a break in the type of stories under Georgiana Dickens' name. Instead of having English locales, the remaining four had American. So far as could be determined from the scanty biographies of Charles Clark, it does not appear that he ever came to America, and the stories could hardly have been written by an Englishman unfamiliar with American localities and customs. Consequently it appears that after having reprinted C. C.'s stories under Georgiana Dickens' name, a switch of the source material was made, and the work of some other writer was used.
† Since "C. C." is only tentatively Charles Clark and "Cons" is not known to belong to him, and since the final four Georgiana Dickens novels were certainly written by an unknown American, the best that can be done is to leave all the novels ascribed to her by Beadle under this name.
Belles and Beaux. No. 1
Waverley Library (quarto). Nos. 133, 164, 173, 185, 193, 205, 217
Waverley Library (octavo). Nos. 66, 83, 88, 93, 101, 108
† Correction made as per Volume 3.
|1||† William Cushing, Initials and Pseudonyms, New York, 1886, 44. Dictionary of National Biography, New York and London, 1887, X. Frederic Boase, Modern English Biography, Truro, 1892, I, 626.|