Thomas Amory

Memoirs : containing the lives of several ladies of Great Britain (…) in several letters

John Noon

Londres, 1755
bibliothèque insulaire
utopies insulaires
des femmes et des îles
Memoirs : containing the lives of several ladies of Great Britain (…) in several letters / Thomas Amory. - Londres : John Noon, 1755. - XXXI-527 p. ; 20 cm.

Thomas Amory (v. 1691-1788) était irlandais et aurait connu Swift.

« In the Memoirs (…) of Several Ladies of Great Britain, Mrs Marinda Benlow is a bluestocking and the story wanders off into a curious tour of the Hebrides, where Amory places a Green Island of exotic flora, on which stands a ladie's academy. »  — « Cambridge Guide to Literature in English », Londres, 1988 (p. 27).

L'ouvrage est mentionné dans un grand nombre d'anthologies et d'histoires de la littérature de langue anglaise ; il est fréquemment tenu pour illisible.

EXTRAIT We steered for St. Kilda, and intended to go from thence to Borera, which lies within three leagues of it, and at last pay our visit to Mr. West. But in a fog we mist them both, and came full upon a fine little country, called the Green Island, which lies ten leagues to the north-west of St. Kilda. Here we landed the 20th of September. All Mr. Martin 1 says of this land is, that he believes he saw it at a distance once, and a captain of a ship told him he had been on it.

   The Green Island is three miles long, and more than two broad. The surface is beautifully unequal, and in every point of view quite charming. The ground is covered with trefoil, and flowery plants of the aromatic kind. There are a hundred little beautiful woods upon the hills, and the sweetest streams come murmuring down their sides.

   It was six o'clock in the  afternoon when we went on shore, and could see no sign of any inhabitants on this land. We therefore ordered the tents to be struck up, and in a delightfull valley, between two woody hills, by the side of a water-fall, we resolved to pass some days. Here supper was to be served up, and as the evening was glorious, the scene solemn and fine, we thought ourselves prodigious happy in so agreeable a change. It was agreed, while our repast was preparing, to have a concert, and the instruments were immediately brought ; but before we could begin, we heared some music, as of many hands, divinely played. This struck us all with astonishment, as there was not a house, or a soul to be seen. Our captain swore he had at last discovered the inchanted island. The wisest of us could not tell what to say to it ; and the weakest, some sailors, natives of the Western Islands, assured us very seriously, that it was the great men ; so they call spirits, which reside, as these islanders think, in the beautiful vallies of these isles.

The history of Mrs Marinda Benlow : Transactions and observations in a voyage to the Western Islands, pp. 319-321
1. Martin Martin was one of the first mainland explorers to record his visit to the Hebrides ; in 1703 he published A description of the Western Islands of Scotland.
  • « Memoirs containing the lives of several ladies of Great Britain, interspersed with literary reflections and accounts of antiquities and curious things », Londres : Johnson and Payne, 1769

mise-à-jour : 19 mai 2011