A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Porter, Anna Maria

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Porter, Anna Maria (1780-1832), Porter, Jane (1776-1850). -- Novelists, were the dau. of an Irish army surgeon, and sisters of Sir Robert Ker P., the painter and traveller. After the death of the f. the family settled in Edin., where they enjoyed the friendship of Scott. ANNA at the age of 12 pub. Artless Tales, the precursor of a series of tales and novels numbering about 50, the best being Don Sebastian (1809). JANE, though the elder by four years, did not pub. until 1803, when her first novel, Thaddeus of Warsaw, appeared. The Scottish Chiefs followed in 1810. Both of these works, especially the latter, had remarkable popularity, the Chiefs being translated into German and Russian. She had greater talent than her sister, but like her, while possessed of considerable animation and imagination, failed in grasping character, and imparting local verisimilitude. Both were amiable and excellent women. A romance, Sir Edward Seaward's Diary (1831), purporting to be a record of actual circumstances, and ed. by Jane, is generally believed to have been written by a brother, Dr. William Ogilvie P.