Saturday Evening Post
Philadelphia: 24 January 1863


  Miss M. A. Braddon, whose novel of "Lady Audley's Secret" has gone into the eighth edition in six months, was nearly unknown, as a writer, a year ago. First she tried to live as a piano-forte player and vocalist, but the public did not encourage her. Next, she played a small part or two on the stage, but with equal bad results. Lastly, she collapsed into pen and ink, wrote a sketch called the "Artist's Story," and, with great difficulty, succeeded in getting it published in a small periodical called The Welcome Guest. However, she got paid for it—a trifle, but enough to encourage her. One remembers how Scott's "Waverly" lay unfinished for ten years in an old desk, because his friend James Ballantyne threw upon it the cold water of his hostile criticism—how Charles Dickens had to entreat Dr. Black as a favor to admit his "Sketches by Boz" into the Evening Chronicle, as they were pronounced not good enough for the morning edition—how William Howitt's "Book of the Seasons," of which 100,000 copies have been sold, was rejected by nearly every London publisher, until, in very despair, he took the bundle of manuscript to Waterloo Bridge, determined to consign it to the Thames, but luckily met, in the Strand, Mr. Bently, the only publisher he had not tried, who purchased the book at once—how Charlotte Bronte hawked "Jane Eyre" from post to pillar before any one would publish it—how Mrs. Stowe had great trouble in getting "Uncle Tom's Cabin" printed—how Mr. Thackeray was in the same predicament with "Vanity Fair," and seriously thought of burning it, in his anger and despair. Miss Braddon's name may be added to the list.—Philada. Press.