Description de l’éditeur
Cecil, or, The Adventures of a Coxcomb and its sequel Cecil, a Peer epitomize the dandy novel in its purest form — a rambunctious six-volume romp through the scandalous high life of the Regency and its prolonged aftermath, presented in the guise of first-person memoirs. When the two novels were published anonymously by Richard Bentley in 1841, the flurry of speculation about their unknown author centered on prominent literary figures as well as on members of the peerage. The young William Makepeace Thackeray, to his mingled irritation and envy, found himself unexpectedly caught up in the guessing game: "it appears that the whole town is talking about my new novel of Cecil. O just punishment of vanity! How I wish I had written it-not for the book’s sake but for the filthy money’s, which I love better than fame." - Winifred Hughes, Nineteenth-Century Literature, 1995
Catherine Grace Frances Gore (1799–1861) was a British novelist and dramatist, daughter of a wine merchant at Retford, where she was born. She is amongst the well-known of the silver fork writers - authors of the Victorian era depicting the gentility and etiquette of high society. There is something of Jane Austen’s influence to be traced in her novels. She had an adroit power of masking — witness Cecil, a book which, for its week deceived London,—a book which, coming after some forty novels by the same hand, contrived to beguile the majority of readers into the idea that a new, dashing Unknown had burst into literature.
Morning Post, 1841—Suppose wit the most brilliant, humour the most bizarre, fancy the most fantastical, reading the most varied, and genius the most scatter-brained; then, imagine an ever fervid temperament, a generous heart, a caustic spirit, and a refined taste, and having mixed all these together, without mean or measure, envelope them in a covering of incorrigible coxcombry and you have the inward man of Cecil.—A work more radiant with sparkling gems, more inlaid with talent, we have seldom read.
Morning Herald, 1841—The same vivacity of narrative, the same light, graceful finesse of satiric innuendo, combined with lessons of broad and generous import, which distinguished the former part of this work, are to be found in this, its sequel, and invest it with an interest for every class of readers, the grave as well as the gay. Amongst productions of the same class in our literature, it may be fairly deemed entitled to take a place in the foremost, most esteemed rank."
Examiner, 1841—The new Cecil has wit and spirit as well as its predecessor, and a great many just views with a pointed social moral. In that nice painting of the heartless features of fashionable life, where, with no caricature of colour, there is no compromise of truth, we have few better living artists than the author of Cecil."
Westminster Review , 1841—A clever novel, and we think the author in his impersonation of Cecil has been very successful. The novel is smartly written, and is obviously the work of a man of talent.
Court Journal, 1841—Cecil is the most artificial of writers, criticizing the usages, and dissecting the foibles of the most artificial of all aristocratic communities. And yet his pages are full of unsophisticated morality, pure and elevated ideas, and instinctive sympathy with what is truly virtuous and beautiful in humanity. These touches of unalloyed and spontaneous feeling afford an agreeable relief to the severer qualities which characterize his vivid sketches of society. Another charming feature in the work is the refined taste, which renders Cecil not only an agreeable companion, but an acute observer, from whose discrimination much may be learnt.