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Collection Overview

Porter, Jane, 1776-1850
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Jane Porter and Anna Maria Porter Collection
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box and 0.2 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1


Consists of selected material by and about the two Scottish sisters Jane and Anna Maria Porter, who were novelists in the first half of the 19th century.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of selected material by and about the two Porter sisters. Jane Porter's correspondence consists of one letter to "Dr. Brown," a letter to Anthony Cardon regarding publishing drawings, a letter to "Mr. Churchill," a letter to "Mr. Haines," a letter to Rev. W. Homes, a letter to Shirley Park, the Marquess of Cholmontley, and a letter to Rev. William Lindsay. Included is a holograph "Memorandum of Agreement" between Jane Porter and Richard Bentley, bookseller and publisher, dated 26 June 1844, with the names of the novels that he will publish for her. In addition, there are two short biographical sketches of Jane, one of which includes a steel engraving and an original watercolor painting signed "L. F." There are also other lithograph and steel engravings (several are drawn by G. Harlowe and engraved by J. Thomson), a newspaper clipping of her obituary, and other clippings from THE ART-JOURNAL dating from 1850.

Anna Maria Porter's correspondence consists of 22 autograph letters sent to Mrs. Wilhelmina Hole, dated 1809-1830 and bound together in boards, covered in tan paper. Additional material includes a letter addressed to "My Dear Madame," a clipping of her obituary, and a lithograph portrait engraving (1846).


The material is arranged by accession number.

Collection Creator Biography:

Porter, Jane, 1776-1850

Jane Porter, born in Durham, Scotland, was a novelist and the older sister of Anna Maria Porter. After the death of their father, the family settled in Edinburgh, where they enjoyed the friendship of Sir Walter Scott. Jane's novel Thaddeus of Warsaw (1803) is one of the earliest examples of the historical novel and went through several editions. The Scottish Chief (1810), a novel about William Wallace, was also a success and has remained popular with Scottish children. Jane wrote a number of other novels, as well as two plays; the latter, however, were less successful. She also contributed to various periodicals. Jane and Anna Maria were the sisters of Sir Robert Ker Porter, the historical painter.

Anna Maria Porter, like her sister Jane, was a novelist and a poet. At the age of 12 Anna Maria published the novel Artless Tales. She was in London by the 1790s, publishing verse in the Universal Magazine. She wrote a short novel, Walsh Colville, which was published anonymously in 1797. Though her sister was the more popular writer, Anna was the more prolific. She collaborated with Jane and wrote, among other novels, The Hungarian Brothers (3 vols., 1807), a historical romance set against the French Revolutionary Wars, which was a huge success, published in several editions.

Collection History


Material in the collection was mostly purchased on several dates.

Custodial History

The collection was formed as a result of a Departmental practice of combining into one collection material of various accessions relating to a particular person, family, or subject.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

Folder inventory added by Nicholas Williams '2015 in 2012.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Jane Porter and Anna Maria Porter Collection; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1