The Female Prose Writers of America: With Portraits, Biographical Notices, and Specimens of their Writings/Eliza Leslie

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search


We have room but for a brief preface to the charming autobiography of Miss Leslie, furnished to our pages by her friend Mrs. Neal, for whom it was recently written. All that is of interest in the personal history of this gifted lady, she has supplied. It only remains for us to point out the characteristics of her style, and the great popularity of her writings, to which she so modestly alludes.

Her tales are perfect daguerreotypes of real life; their actors think, act, and speak for themselves; with a keen eye for the ludicrous, the failings of human nature are never portrayed but to warn the young and the thoughtless. Her writings are distinguished for variety and ease of expression, strong common sense, and right principle. In her juvenile tales the children are neither “good little girls, or bad little boys”—but real little boys and girls, who act and speak with all the genuineness and naiveté of childhood. No writer of fiction in our country has ever had a wider, or more interested circle of readers; and this is clearly proved by the increased circulation of all those publications in which her name has appeared as a regular contributor.

It will be noticed that the autobiography is dated from United States Hotel, of this city, where Miss Leslie at present resides—a charm to its social circle, and sought out by distinguished travellers of many equal to her writings, a circumstance by no means common with authors; her remarkable memory furnishing an inexhaustible store of anecdote, mingled with sprightly and original opinions. Her early life will be learned from the following sketch.