Trade Paper – $24.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-2670-1
Publication Date
February 2011
Page Count
392 pages
Trim Size
5.5 x 8.5


A Modern Edition
Anne Seymour Damer

With his new edition of The Sylph (Northwestern, 2007), Jonathan David Gross recovered the work of novelist and biopic subject Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. With Belmour, Gross introduces the modern audience to the only novel of English sculptress Anne Damer.Belmour chronicles the tangled romances of a group of eighteenth-century English aristocrats. The plot centers on Lord Belmour’s pursuit of the lovely and slightly mysterious Emily Melville. The c arismatic Belmour, a man of great feeling and quick perception, goes to great lengths to gain the affection of Emily, only to learn that she has recently married another man. Although crushed, Belmour tries to develop a friendship with the couple, but his heartache drives him to depart on an extensive journey through Europe. During these travels, the lives of Belmour and Emily unfold, though fate ultimately leads the two to cross paths once more.Set among such vivid backdrops as Paris, Venice, and Rome, Belmour, like Damer herself, “conceals as much as it reveals,” yielding a rich, multifaceted story of forbidden love and erotic intrigue that will appeal to those interested in the gothic romances of Ann Radcliffe and the psychological novels of Elizabeth Inchbald. A contemporary of Jane Austen, Anne Damer casts an equally critical eye on the foibles of the aristocracy, while offering a similarly romanticized portrait of romantic love in the age of sensibility.
About the Author

Anne Damer (1748–1828) was born in Kent to an aristocratic family. In 1767 she married John Damer but separated from him after seven years. Her father’s secretary, the philosopher David Hume, allegedly inspired her to pursue a career as a sculptress at a time when few women did so. Among her best-known subjects are Lord Admiral Nelson and King George III. Giuseppe Ceracchi, cast her as the Muse of Sculpture in a full-length statue that graced the entrance of the British Museum for more than one hundred years. Belmour (1801) was her only novel.Jonathan David Gross is a professor of English at DePaul University and the director of the DePaul Humanities Center. He previously edited The Sylph (Northwestern, 2007) and Emma; or, The Unfortunate Attachment (2004), both by Lady Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. He is the author of Byron: The Erotic Liberal (2001), and edited Byron’s "Corbeau Blanc": The Life and Letters of Lady Melbourne (1997).

"How fortunate we are to have this new edition of Anne Damer's novel Belmour--a book as fascinating as the many-talented woman who wrote it. And how fortunate as well to have the book framed for us by Jonathan Gross's critical and biographical commentaries, where the cultural significance of Damer and her work is set forth so well. Damer is an artist, a writer, and a personality of real importance, now more lapsed from attention than she ever should have been." --Jerome McGann, Unversity of Virginia