Pardoe, Julia (DNB00)


PARDOE, JULIA (1806–1862), author, second daughter of Major Thomas Pardoe, was born at Beverley, Yorkshire, in 1806. Her father, whose family was said to be of Spanish extraction, belonged to the royal wagon train, and served with distinction in the Peninsular campaign and at Waterloo. Miss Pardoe commenced author at a very early age. In her fourteenth year she published a volume of poems which went into a second edition. Fear of consumption necessitated a journey abroad, and the first of Miss Pardoe's books to obtain notice was ‘Traits and Traditions of Portugal,’ published in 1833, and dedicated to the Princess Augusta, who took a warm interest in the writer. The book was the outcome of personal observation during a fifteen months' residence abroad. In 1835 Miss Pardoe accompanied her father to Constantinople, and since Lady Mary Wortley Montagu [q. v.] probably no woman has acquired so intimate a knowledge of Turkey. In 1837 she published ‘The City of the Sultan and Domestic Manners of the Turks,’ in two volumes. The book was very successful, and was reprinted in three volumes in 1838, 1845, and 1854. About 1842, when suffering from overwork, she retired from London, and resided with her parents at Perry Street, near Gravesend, and afterwards at Northfleet, Kent. She was granted a civil list pension in January 1860, ‘in consideration of thirty years' toil in the field of literature, by which she has contributed both to cultivate the public taste and to support a number of helpless relations’ (Colles, Literature and the Pension List, p. 39). She died on 26 Nov. 1862, at Upper Montagu Street, London.

Miss Pardoe was a warm-hearted woman, singularly bright and animated; a capital raconteuse, and, notwithstanding her literary talents, learned in the domestic arts. Hall (Book of Memories, p. 376) describes her in 1826 as ‘a fairy-footed, fair-haired, laughing, sunny girl.’ He declares that she would never admit her age to have passed that of youth, and strove in 1856 to be as vivacious as she was at eighteen. Leigh Hunt mentions her among the women authors, in the ‘Feast of the Violets,’ as ‘Pardoe all spirits.’ Later on, when Apollo danced with the learned ladies, ‘To Pardoe he showed Spain's impassioned velocity.’ Her portrait, drawn by J. Lilley in 1849, and engraved by Samuel Freeman, forms the frontispiece of the second edition of the ‘Court and Reign of Francis I.’

Besides numerous successful novels, of which the first, ‘Lord Morcar of Hereward,’ appeared in 1829, in four volumes (2nd edit. 1837), Miss Pardoe published several historical works, chiefly pictures of French history, condensed from the memoir-writers. ‘Louis XIV and the Court of France in the Seventeenth Century,’ in three volumes, came out in 1847 (a third edition was published in 1849, and it was reprinted in 1886). ‘The Court and Reign of Francis I,’ published in two volumes in 1849, was reprinted in three volumes in 1887, with a brief memoir of the author. ‘The Life and Memoirs of Marie de Medici, Queen and Regent of France,’ published in 1852, in three volumes, was reprinted in 1890. These works, written, like all the rest, in a pleasant and graceful style, attracted a large share of notice, and, as popular history, may still be read with pleasure. Many of her books were reprinted in the United States, but, according to Mrs. Hale (Woman's Record, p. 765), Miss Pardoe was not a favourite there.

Her other works are:

  1. ‘Speculation,’ 3 vols. 1834.
  2. ‘The Mardens and the Daventrys,’ 3 vols. 1835.
  3. ‘The River and the Desert; or Recollections of the Rhine and the Chartreuse,’ 2 vols. 1838.
  4. ‘The Romance of the Harem,’ 2 vols. 1839, 1857.
  5. ‘The Beauties of the Bosphorus,’ 1839. This volume was reprinted in 1854 and 1874, under the title of ‘Picturesque Europe.’
  6. ‘The City of the Magyar; or Hungary and its Institutions,’ 3 vols. 1840.
  7. ‘The Hungarian Castle,’ 3 vols. 1842.
  8. ‘Confessions of a Pretty Woman,’ 3 vols. 1846, 1847, 1860.
  9. ‘The Jealous Wife,’ 3 vols. 1847, 1855, 1857, 1858.
  10. ‘The Rival Beauties,’ 3 vols. 1848 (second edit.), 1861.
  11. ‘Flies in Amber,’ 3 vols. 1850.
  12. . ‘Reginald Lyle,’ 3 vols. 1854, 1857.
  13. . ‘Lady Arabella; or the Adventures of a Doll,’ 1856.
  14. ‘Abroad and at Home: Tales Here and There,’ 1857.
  15. ‘Pilgrimages in Paris,’ 1857.
  16. ‘The Poor Relation: a Novel,’ 3 vols. 1858.
  17. ‘Episodes of French History during the Consulate and the First Empire,’ 2 vols. 1859.
  18. ‘A Life-Struggle,’ 2 vols. 1859.
  19. ‘The Rich Relation,’ 1862.

In addition, Miss Pardoe translated ‘La Peste’ (1834), an Italian poem by Sorelli; edited the ‘Memoirs of the Queens of Spain’ (1850), and contributed an introduction to ‘The Thousand and One Days,’ a companion to ‘The Arabian Nights,’ in 1857.

[Memoir prefixed to the first volume of the 1887 edition of the Court and Reign of Francis I; Allibone, ii. 1497; Athenæum, 1862, ii. 772; Bentley's Miscellany for 1849; information supplied by Mr. George Bentley.]

E. L.