by George Henry Harlow
8 1/2 in. x 6 3/4 in. (216 mm x 171 mm)
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Sitterback to top
- Jane Porter (1776-1850), Novelist; sister of Anna Maria Porter. Sitter in 2 portraits.
Artistback to top
- George Henry Harlow (1787-1819), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 80 portraits, Sitter associated with 3 portraits.
This portraitback to top
After her father's death when she was three, Jane Porter and her four siblings were brought up by their mother in Edinburgh. Having moved to London, Porter moved in literary circles and in 1803 published her first novel, Thaddeus of Warsaw, which was an immediate success. Her second novel, The Scottish Chiefs (1810), based on the story of William Wallace, also went through many editions. These and her later novels contributed to the vogue for historical novels which would culminate in Sir Walter Scott's Waverley of 1814. In this portrait Porter is depicted holding a cross, the history of which is given in an inscription running along the right-hand edge of the work.
Linked publicationsback to top
Events of 1800back to top
Current affairsWidespread food riots after poor harvests of 1798-9. Theorist, Thomas Malthus, controversially argues that poverty and food shortages are an inevitable consequence of population growth, challenging assumptions that populousness was a sign of national prosperity and power. His thesis contributed forcefully to the debate over the existing Poor Law.
Art and scienceWilliam Wordsworth publishes his Preface to the Lyrical Ballads; a retrospective explanation of his experimental poems written with Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It becomes one of the best-known manifestos of Romantic literature.
InternationalLord Castlereagh, Chief Secretary for Ireland, is the main architect of the Act of Union under which Ireland is merged with Great Britain and the Irish parliament is abolished.
British troops support successful uprising by Maltese against the French.
Napoleon is victorious against Austrians at Marengo and reconquers Italy.