Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Mrs. Disney Leith: bibliography

Another annotated bibliography with an Isle of Wight connection: Mrs. Disney Leith is one of the several names in the literature for the Scottish author Mary Charlotte Julia Leith (née Gordon, 1840-1926) a.k.a. Mary Gordon a.k.a. "M. C. J. L." a.k.a. Mary Leith. Her chief route into history is as the first cousin of the poet Swinburne, who she corresponded with, and later recalled in memoirs.

Mrs Disney Leith
CJ Arnell's Poets of the Wight (1933)
See Poets of the Wight (7 February 2013)

A brief biography from the Times obituary:
Mrs. Disney Leith, who died yesterday at her residence at Niton, Isle of Wight, from pneumonia, at the age of 85, was a cousin and friend with Swinburne, who was only three years older. She published, in 1917, some personal recollections of the poet’s boyhood, with extracts from his private letters, which are of real biographical interest and value. More than 60 years ago he had contributed a morality play to one of her books.
      Mrs. Leith was Mary Charlotte Julia Gordon, only daughter of the late Sir Henry Percy Gordon, F.R.S., second and last baronet of Northcourt, Isle of Wight. Her mother was Lady Mary, youngest daughter of the third Earl of Ashburton, and sister of Lady Jane, who was the mother of Algernon Charles Swinburne. She as married in 1865 to General Robert William Disney Leith, C.B., of Glenkindle and Westhall, Aberdeenshire. This gallant officer served in the Persian Gulf in 1838 to 1841, and led the forlorn hope at Mooltan in 1849, when the fortress fell to British attack. He lost an arm in that action, but saw further active service in the suppression of the Indian Mutiny. He died in 1892.
      For many years Mr. Leith had been known as a writer. To her story called “The Children of the Chapel,” that is, the choirboys of the Chapel Royal, published in March, 1864, Swinburne contributed a morality play, entitled “The Pursuit of Pleasure,” but without including his name as author. She wrote other stories, including “A Black Martinmas,” “Champion Sandy,” and “Lachlan’s Widow,” but probably her best was “Auld Fernie’s Son,” in which she made effective use of the racy Scots tongue. She was fond of visiting Iceland, and translated much modern Icelandic poetry and prose, also writing books descriptive of the wild coast scenery of the island and the lives of the fisher folk. When she was 70 years old, she bathed in the Arctic Sea from the shore of Iceland. Mrs Leith illustrated many of her books with her own drawings, and she was also an accomplished musician.
- Obituaries, Mrs. Disney Leith, The Times (London, England), Saturday, Feb 20, 1926; page 14.
An Isle of Wight County Press account adds:
Mrs. Disney Leitch, when she was over 60 years of age, rode 300 miles across Iceland on a pony, and the Vectensians now stationed there will be able to judge what a feat of endurance that was for a lady of her age. She also bathed in the Arctic Sea from Iceland when over 70. Mrs. Disney Leith was in Iceland when the last war broke out, and the vessel on which she returned was escorted by destroyers.
- IWCP, Saturday, July 12, 19417, page 3, (reproduced as fair usage, Isle of Wight County Press Archive archive.iwcp.co.uk).
Mrs Disney Leith's works divide more or less into a) a creditable body of Icelandic translation and very readable Iceland travel writing; b) independent works including poetry and novels, many with ecclesiastical or Scottish settings; and c) in late life, dining out on what appears to be a bowdlerised version of her relationship with Swinburne before she married General Leith. (Bowdlerised in the sense that many respectable accounts have suggested that she encouraged Swinburne's sadomasochistic interests via their enciphered correspondence, and noted that her earlier novels repeatedly feature flagellation). Even without this sensational aspect, it seems unfortunate that her other work - notably her Icelandic travel and translation - has been overshadowed by her relatively small output of Swinburne hagiography.

Ad for the AD Innes editions
The Episcopal Church in Scotland
Year Book for 1899
I compiled my list from various sources including Internet Archive, Hathitrust, OCLC WorldCat, British Library, British Books in Print, and Halkett's Dictionary of Anonymous and Pseudonymous English Literature; and verified it primarily against this paper ...
POWNEY, Janet; MITCHELL, Jeremy. A Forgotten Voice: Moral Guidance in the Novels of Mary Gordon (Mrs. Disney Leith), with a Bibliography. The Victorian, [S.l.], v. 2, n. 1, mar. 2014. ISSN 2309-091X. Available at: <http://journals.sfu.ca/vict/index.php/vict/article/view/82>. Date accessed: 26 May. 2015. 
... which is currently the best single annotated bibliography for Mrs Disney Leith (and it's online under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License). However, I thought the exercise worth re-doing for the addition of online sources (where they exist); the inclusion of a spot more colourful detail from contemporary blurbs and reviews; and the general freedom for digression and crossover that a blog allows compared to an academic paper.


Mark Dennis; Or, The Engine-driver. A Tale of the Railway (London: Rivingtons, 1859)
Novel. Identified by credit: "To A.S. the following tale is inscribed by her affectionate cousin, M.C.J.G."
There's a deliciously hostile review in The Literary Gazette.
“Mark Dennis” appears to be an early—if not actually the first—publication of a lady, who is introduced to the reading world by the advice and under the sanction of a clergyman. The story is, therefore, as may be concluded, unexceptionable in taste, and of a style of morality which will render it acceptable to all teachers and trainers of the young. Beyond this the design and enterprise of the writer do not aspire; though here and there we trace, or fancy we trace, symptoms of deeper feeling and observation than have ventured to make themselves manifest in these retiring pages. Should the authoress again resolve to appear in print, we would suggest to her to throw more light and shade into her pictures, to break the placid flow of narrative with more incident, and rather to paint her engine-drivers and the ir wives from the life, than to present tame ideals of good men and women. Such conversations, also, as that at page 142 should be avoided, consisting mainly of "How d'ye do's?" and "Very well, thank you's;" "What's become of Nep?" "Ah! poorfellow! hedied." "Really? Poor dog! What did he die of?" "I think it must have been of old age." The reader, athirst for excitement, of course begins to think that the dog has been maliciously poisoned by an immoral character for some occult purpose. Not a bit of it. That is the truth and the whole truth—at p.20 the dog is found lying across the threshold, basking in the rays of the evening sun, and at p.142 his fate is recorded as above. That is all. Now, is this incident worth writing, composing, correcting, printing, with notes of interrogation and admiration, and publishing by Messrs. Rivington? Indeed, were this particular page a fair or ordinary specimen of the whole book, we might have doubted the discretion of the clerical friend who suggested the publication. But there is really much more. The death of the hero of the tale, though mournful, has interest enough to atone for long tracts of level writing, and among the causes of the railway accident, vaguely hinted, we observe the conception of motives which might have given a guilty origin to the fatal collision. But from carrying out this idea, wih its consequences, the resolution of the writer appears to have shrunk, and at this we need not be surprised. We would further pray the authoress to eschew all aims at supporting small conventional moralities, such as the impropriety of poor people calling their children by the same Christian names as their betters, as though "Amelia" were by some divine right of more aristocratic significance than "Jane." Where is the line to be drawn, as the barber suggests in "Nicholas Nickleby?" Is "Amelia" not to go below bakers? Considering also that there was a Princess "Amelia" not long ago, the name is, by the same reasoning, as far above Mrs. Forster's rank in society, as that estimable lady was inferior to Mrs. Dennis. We hope, however, to find the author of "Mark Dennis" engaged hereafter upon sorao more important points of social improvement, and adhering to a closer delineation of the life and manners of the upper working class of society, which seems to have engaged (and most worthily so) her sympathy and attention.
- New novel, The Literary Gazette, No, 34, New Series, February 19th, 1859
Online: Google Books L0dWAAAAcAAJ.

The Children of the Chapel (London: J. Masters, 1864, London: Chatto & Windus, 1910)
Novel, credited as "By the Author of Mark Dennis". The 1910 edition credits a segment to Swinburne: "including The Pilgrimage of Pleasure, a morality play by Algernon Charles Swinburne".
      This is a historical novel set from 1559 onward, and is set among the choristers of the Chapel Royal, in an era when it had the power to conscript boys from local churches, and the novel's protagonist is one such victim.
A charmingly written tale, The Children of the Chapel, by the author of The Chorister Brothers, was published by Joseph Masters in 1864. It recounts the experiences of Arthur Savile, who is represented as one of the boys impressed by "Thomas Gyles," and by whom he is subjected to much brutal treatment. Gyles is erroneously described as Master of the Children of the Chapel Royal, and is thus confused with his son Nathaniel.
- A History of English Cathedral Music, 1549-1889 (John Bumpus, London: T Werner Laurie, 1908, Internet Archive historyofenglish01bumpuoft).
I'm not sure how Bumpus manages to read both "brutal treatment" and "a charmingly written tale" into the same text. The biographical and bibliographical issue is that right from the start, The Children of the Chapel sets the scene for repeated scenarios of flagellation in the early works of Mrs Disney Leith.

Online: childrenchapelb00leitgoog (1864) or childrenofchapel00leituoft (1910).

The Chorister Brothers: A Tale (London: J. Masters, 1867)
Novel. Unidentified author, as "By the Author of The Children of the Chapel".
We strongly recommend The Chorister Brothers ... as one of the best books for young people which have appeared for a long time,—the story is very interesting, the natural and lifelike, and the truest and best principles are taught with all the earnestness and simplicity of a thoroughly refined and devout mind.
- Reviews and notices, The Churchman's Companion, pages 88-9, 1869

The Church press continues to teem with religious tales. A new one, entitled The Chorister Brothers (London: Masters) is equal in interest and ability to the usual run of such publications, and will no doubt be especially acceptable to boys who may be choristers themselves. Some of the characters are very life-like and well drawn, and not quite so unreal and Utopian as often is the case in these kind of stories, while the principles enunciated are true and sound.
- Literary Notices, The Union Review: A Magazine of Catholic Literature and Art, J.T. Hayes, Volume 5, page 423.
The story is told with liveliness and simplicity, and we follow it with interest to the end. The manner is much more than the matter in this sort of books, and in this instance the manner is very good."—Guardian (regular selective quote in advertisement)
Online: no.

The Incumbent of Axhill: a sequel to the "Chorister brothers." (London: J. Masters and Co., 1875)
Novel. Author uncredited, but identified by the subtitle as author of The Chorister Brothers.
      A novel about the social and romantic complications of religious differences, when a London-trained Anglo-Catholic minister is assigned to the rural village of Axhill, where they view such a stance as "ritualism and Popery". This, it should be remembered, is more or less the era of Trollope's Barsetshire series, which explored very similar territory. The action later moves to a Northern indusrial town.
Online: digitised copy available from the Bodleian Library, via Europeana 014173193.

A Martyr Bishop, and Other Verses (London: J. Masters and Co., 1878)
Anthology of largely religious poetry. By the author of "Chorister brothers," etc.
      The backstory to the title poem is very interesting: the "martyr bishop" is John Coleridge Patteson (1827-1871), who was killed by local people on Nukapu, Solomon Islands, 20 September 1871. He had been involved in work to suppress 'blackbirding' - trade in slaves run as quasi-legal recruitment of indentured workers - and the theory at the time was that he had been mistaken for a blackbirder. However, Kolshus and Hovdhaugen (2010), on the basis of examining oral history and mission documents, have suggested alternatives: either that he was killed as a missionary, because of resentments over missionaries taking children away to remote mission schools; or that he'd made some major social blunder (cf. Jack Vance's The Moon Moth) by breaking norms such as patriarchal hierarchy or rules of precedence when gift-giving.
      The first poem in the anthology commemorates Patteson; the second the return mission of the ship Southern Cross to the scene; and the third the death of the Rev. Joseph Atkin, who died of arrow wounds sustained in the same incident (see transcript Project Canterbury / In Memoriam. Joseph Atkin).
Online: Internet Archive amartyrbishopan00leitgoog.

Auld Fernies' Son: a story in five parts (London: J Masters, 1881)
Novel. By the author of "Chorister brothers," "The Incumbent of Axhill," &c.
This seems to us an advance on the author's former writings. It is a very quiet story of middle-class life in Scotland ; the hero the agent for an agricultural company, and son to a farmer, one heroine being of the same stamp, the other a dressmaker. Goodness and refinement of feeling make Edmund Allardyce and Isobel Donald a true gentleman and lady, and their Scotch tongues, manners, and customs carry us through a good deal that possibly might seem tedious and commonplace if it were in plain English. The troubles of a choir in a small Episcopal Chapel are very well described, and it is about a harmonium in playing which neither is a great proficient, that poor faithful Isie learns to view Edmund as the noblest of mankind; while he, poor fellow, has given his whole honest heart to a far less worthy love. His constancy, almost in spite of himself, is the main object of the story, which is a delightful one and ought to charm all those who do not call for much incident, or for that species of truthfulness that delights in the grotesque and ugly, rather than the tender and noble. There are those who may think the tale long, for there is more in this one volume than in many three-volume novels, but the story is so like living with good people, that we could not weary of it.
- Notices, The Literary Churchman and Church Fortnightly, February 18, 1881, page 78.
Minor typographic peeve: bibliographic sources repeatedly 'correct' the title to Auld Fernie's Son. In the book, the nickname of the titular character Mr. Allardyce is actually "Fernies", so the apostrophe placement in Auld Fernies' Son is correct.
Online: Internet Archive auldferniessonb00leitgoog.

Ruthieston: some notes by a brother and sister (London: Walter Smith (late Mozley), 1882)
Novel. By the author of 'The Chorister Brothers,", "Auld Fernies' Son," etc. etc.
This is one of the several novels by Mrs Leith examining the personal and romantic conflicts arising from the division between mainstream and nonconformist churches, in this case via the situation of an English clergyman in a Scottish village. Apparently this is supposed to be for a younger readership.
Although a High Church clergyman is the hero of the story, it is interesting to readers of every denomination, and describes the lives of a young English clergyman and his sister, who were stationed at "Ruthieston." a small Scotch village. Characters of almost ever denomination appear in its pages.
- Books for the young, The Literary News, Volume 7, January 1886, page 26.
This is a story of an English clergyman who has taken a cure in a little Scottish town. The first half of the narrative is supposed to be his own, the second to be his sister's. It is altogether very characteristic and interesting as a picture of the work of the struggling Scottish Church. The mixture of ranks is to our notions rather perplexing. The clergyman lodges in the post-office together with the agent son of a wholesale dealer in coals, Joseph Macaldowie, the hero of the tale in fact. Both go together to a pic-nic given by the county people of the neighbourhood, and are accompanied by an exceedingly second-rate lady with an artist niece, who makes violent love to Mr Macaldowie. He on his part is in love with Tibbie, niece to the post-mistress, but daughter of a substantial farmer. The character and story of Tibbie are very touching and full of interest, and there is much that is instructive in the picture of the working of the Scottish Church in this remote parish. We greatly recommend the book, and to those who have complained of the dialect of 'Auld Fernie's Son' we would say that the Scotch when spoken is not so broad, nor is there nearly so much of it as in that very pretty story.
- The Literary Churchman and Church Fortnightly, Vol. 28, September 1st, 1882, pages 352-3.
Online: Internet Archive ruthiestonbyaut00leitgoog.

Like his own daughter: a story (London: Walter Smith (late Mozley), 1882)
Novel. By the author of "The Chorister Brothers," "The Incumbent of Axhill," &c.
Online: Internet Archive likehisowndaugh00leitgoog.

From over the Water: a story of two promises (London: Walter Smith (late Mozley), 1884)
Novel. By the author of "The Chorister Brothers," "Like His Own Daughter," etc etc.
This is a novel set in twin locations: the Isle of Wight (in the fictional "old world village" of Cheveley) and the North of Scotland (in the equally fictional Ardhill). .
In no part of southern England is the hand of spring more lavish, her reign more beneficient and genial, than in that sea-girt tract—so narrowly divided from the mainland, yet in all its attributes so essentially and unconquerably insular—whose primrose-garlanded knolls, and violet-sprinkled banks, and greenest fields shining and twinkling with cowslips, buttercups, and daisies, have deservedly gained for it the appellation of the “Garden Isle.”
- opening paragraph, From over the Water
The story, as far as I can tell from a skim, is another examining issues of the divide between mainstream Church and nonconformist "Chapel", both in the Isle of Wight and in Scotland.
Online: Internet Archive fromoverwaterby00leitgoog.

Rufus: a story in three books (London: J Masters and Co., 1886)
Novel. By the author of "The Chorister Brothers."
The advertisement in The Standard (Tuesday, July 14, 1896; pg. 9) describes Rufus, Nora’s Friends and Under Cliff as “Popular Tales, the Scenes of which are laid in the Isle of Wight”.
"Rufus is an Isle of Wight fisherman who falls in love with a pretty little Scotch girl" (desc. from Literary Churchman).
Online: no.

Nora's Friends: Or, a Little Girl's Influence. A Story for the Young (London: J. Masters and Company, 1889)
Novel. By the author of "The Chorister Brothers", also set in the Isle of Wight.
“Every girl who can appreciate a capital sketch of one like herself will enjoy following the life history of Nora in these pages—Bookseller
Avowedly designed for the young, it might with advantage be read by many who could hardly lay claim to juvenility. It teaches in an indirect way and in the course of an engaging narrative many lessons of forbearance, selfdenial, gentleness of manner, and goodness of disposition which may profitably be laid to heart.—Aberdeen Journal
- selective blurbs from ad in Tib and Sib: A Story for Children, Stella Austin, J. Masters, 1892
 Online: no.

Under Cliff.  A sequel to Nora’s Friends (London: J Masters, 1890)
Novel. By the author of “The Chorister Brothers."
The third of this trio set in the Isle of Wight.
Nora's charming disposition is further developed in this excellent story, which with all the interest of a novel is full of good and profitable reading. The numerous characters are well drawn, and both old and young will follow their old friend's career with pleasure and instruction.”—Church Times
In this volume the subsequent movements of Nora are set forth, and man good lessons are put before the reader. It is altogether a story which 'will enhance the writer's reputation.—John Bull
To those who have perused the original work we can heartily recommend this new one as an interesting and pleasantly written sequel.—Stationery and Bookselling
- selective blurbs from ad in Tib and Sib: A Story for Children, Stella Austin, J. Masters, 1892
Online: no.
Trusty in Fight: Or, the Vicar's Boys. A Story
(London: J Masters, 1893)
Novel. By the author of “The Chorister Brothers."
With a frontispiece. This is a very good story of home life, which should find many readers; the various children are well described, and their doings interestingly set forth by the anonymous author.
- The Publishers' Circular and Booksellers' Record of British and Foreign Literature, Sampson Low, Marston & Company, 1893, Volume 59, 1893
... a long and somewhat shapeless familt history; it begins at no particular point, ans there seems to be no reason why it should ever end. The vicar has ten children, whose trivial lives and misfortunes are chronicled at great length and with much detail. The story, though dull, is quite harmless, and may find some readers.
- Books for the Young, The Athenæum, No. 3460, February 17, 1894
Like The Children of the Chapel, Trusty in Fight has been remarked upon in a number of critical commentaries as a "flagellation novel"; and furthermore one with relationships and characterisation highly applicable to those of Algernon Swinburne. See, for instance, Swinburne in Love: Some Novels by Mary Gordon, FAC Wilson, Texas Studies in Literature and Language, Vol. 11, No. 4 (Winter 1970), pp. 1415-1426, whose author comments that
... Mary was not much of a novelist, and we shall see that the stories tend to be thinly fictionalized reworkings of events that had come her way in real life ...
Online: no.

The stories of Thorwald the far-farer, and of Bishop Isleif (London: J Masters, 1894)
Translation from the Icelandic of Gunnlaugur Leifsson, "by the author of The Chorister Brothers".
See the 1895 The Stories of the Bishops of Iceland.
Online: no.

Original Verses and Translations (London: J Masters, 1895)
By Mrs. Disney Leith, author of "The Chorister Brothers," etc.
Comprising: 1. Miscellaneous Verses; 2. Ballads; 3. In Memoriam Verses; 4. Songs from the Sagas; 5. Translations from Modern Icelandic Poets. A quick skim finds one or two Isle of Wight topics: The Wreck of the 'Sirenia,' March 1888, and Shorwell Spire.
Mrs. Disney Leith has long been known among her friends and neighbours as a writer and thinker, but hitherto we believe most of her writings … have been published for private circulation alone.

Mrs. Disney Leith, who is just now at Northcourt [Isle of Wight], where she passes the winter, resides during the summer months at Westhall, Oyne, where her natural kindliness of heart has endeared her to the tenants. Her largeness of heart and intellect is fully displayed in the volume before us; and as we read we have presented to us the inmost imaginings of one who has been trained to both think and feel.

We congratulate Mrs. Disney Leith on the excellent work she has produced. Aberdeen cannot boast of many poets of high merit among her sons and daughters, and our patriotic feelings make use proud to count among our number the talented authoress of the volume of verses before use. One piece"Our Vicar's Son," a soldier’s letter (a true episode of the Kaffir Warpossesses a melancholy interest in the light of recent events in South Africa.
- Literature, Aberdeen Weekly Journal (Aberdeen, Scotland), Monday, January 6, 1896.
Online: Internet Archive originalversestr00leit.

Stories of the Bishops of Iceland (London: J Masters, 1895)
Translated from the Icelandic "Biskupa sögur" by the author of "The Chorister Brothers."
This is actually the same text as the earlier The stories of Thorwald the far-farer, and of Bishop Isleif (ref: Halkett, Dictionary of Anonymous and Pseudonymous English Literature).
Online: Hathitrust catalog record only 100654437.

Three Visits to Iceland: Being Notes Taken at Sea and on Land (London: J Masters, 1897)
cover from British Library PDF
"Comprising a Pilgrimage to Skalholt, and Visits to Geysir and the Njala District" .. "With a translation of J. Hallgrimsson's Gunnar's Holm".
"Nothing from the pen of Mrs Disney Leith can fail to be interesting. She is an admirable observer of man and manners, and has a wonderful power of assimilating the ideas of the people around her. Hence the charm of her fascinating narrative of her visits to Iceland. She has described the people and the natural features of the island with a graphic pen, and since the death of William Morris, probably knows as much of the language and literature of Iceland as any one now living in the British Isles. This knowledge will be found embodied in some excellent translations from the Icelandic, which form a valuable appendix to the book. There are numerous illustrations, and the altogether the book is deserving of the highest praise.
- Literature, Aberdeen Weekly Journal, Monday, July 12, 1897.
Online: Three Visits to Iceland can be read at, or downloaded from, the British Library website: BLL01014815806 (click I want this for links to the PDF viewer options).

Iceland (London: Adam & Charles Black, 1908)
Children's book in A&C Black's "Peeps at Many Lands" series, illustrated "with twelve water-colour illustrations by M.A. Wemyss and the author".
Illustrations: A Dairy Maid / High Street, Reykjavik / An Icelandic Horsewoman / A Farm / Great Geysir in Eruption / Seogaposs / A Hay Carrier / The Ewe Pen / A Fair Icelander in Ordinary Dress / A Girl in Holiday Dress / An Iceand Pony / Gullfoss.
Online: Internet Archive iceland00leitgoog or iceland01leitgoog.

Champion Sandy: a story ( Aberdeen: A. Murray ; Dumfries: R. G. Mann, 1910).
Novel. "With three illustrations by E. Earle".
A Scottish-set story in which a couple marry despite religious differences.(Presbyterian vs. Episcopalian).
Online: no.

The Boyhood of Algernon Charles Swinburne (The Contemporary Review Vol. 97, April 1910, page 385).
Along with poem A Year’s Mind.
This was a collection of recollections and letters that Mrs Leith later expanded into the 1917 book editions. It's the first source to bring to light Swinburne's letter describing his (unverified) climb of the chalk Culver Cliff to prove to himself his physical fitness. She writes ...
Years after he described it to me by letter, and I think it is only fair to give it as far as possible in his own words, prefacing that Culver Cliffthe great white promontory to the S.E. of the Isle of Wightis about as unassailable to ordinary mortals as any of our island ramparts.
... and Culver gets a mention towards the end of her poem:
The fame he craved not, courted not, abides,
The songs he sang shall hardly pass away
While Culver's stark white steep withstands the tides,
Or little children in the Landslip play
As once he played there: eve and crystal dawn
Seem goodlier now on shore and sea and lawn
That hence such music and such might were drawn.

But fairer than the light on field and foam,
And brighter than his fame which fills the land,
His love of kindred and his love of home
And all things true and beautiful, shall stand
Immortal; and the mists of pain and gloom
Approach not, nor shall mar the fadeless bloom,
Of Love that hallows and that guards his tomb.
- A Year's Mind. , section quoted in Aberdeen Journal Notes and Queries, Vol. 6, 1913, page 40, Internet Archive aberdeenjournaln1913aber.
See JSBlog previously: Swinburne, Culver climber (19th November, 2010); Over Culver to Shanklin (6th November, 2011); and Bonchurch: and a singer asleep (21st September 2012).

A Black Martinmas: A Story (London: Lynwood, 1912)
Novel - "a Romance of Scottish Village Life, by Mrs. Disney Leith".
Its heroine Mollie is of "rather unusual height" (Victorian Poetry, Volume 9, 1971) and
... often regretted that she had not been born a boy. Hers was one of those girl-natures which have a good deal of the boy or man in their composition . . . neither a tomboy nor a hoyden, she cared for and sympathised with the aims and pursuits of men, while those of women, as such, did not actually appeal to her.
- Black Martinmas
But despite these unpromising traits
Molly is the daughter of a North Country grieve [a manager or farm steward] who is wooed by a widowed gardener with four children, and finds in him the love of her life. The story is simply and naturally told, and indeed is much more like human life than such novels usually are.
- The Review of Reviews, Volume 47, 1913, page 98
Online: no.

Lachlan's Widow (London: Lynwood & Co., 1913)
Novel. "A Scottish romance ... a  sequel to A Black Martinmas".
"pleasant domestic story brightly written"
- Hull Daily Mail, 25th March 1914
This is a very simple, rather goody-goody story of Aberdeenshire country folk, somewhat full of dialect which can have little interest to any but Scottish people. Lachlan's widow married him on his deathbed, took charge of her three step- children, and returned home to manage her father's household. Then came a woman, whom the widow's father eventually married, to upset the peace of the home, and eventually Mollie Lachlan married again—the lover of her girlhood. Before this happened, however, she assisted in smoothing out her brother's love affair, and refused the young Scots “meenister” who very cautiously allowed himself to become in love with her. We take leave of her at a point when all promises well for her future, and since the story gives us some good insight to her character, we wish her all success and trust that her second husband will have less trouble with the dialect she speaks than we had.
      The book is not innocent of weak grammar; it is avowedly a sequel to the authoress’ “Black Martinmas,” though in justice it must be said that there is no harking back to the interests of the previous story. Still, it shares the usual fate of sequels in that its author seems unable to work up a creative interest; we are able to feel the identities only of Mollie, the widow, and of Midge, the little girl of whom we would fain have seen more. The rest of the characters are shadowy folk, and the book is likely to be popular only among such readers as like a homely tale which makes slight demands on their imaginative and intellectual capabilities.
- The Academy and Literature, Volume 85, Odhams Limited, 1913, page 814
Online: no.

Algernon Charles Swinburne (New York and London: G.P. Putnam's Sons, The Knickerbocker Press, 1917)
"Personal recollections by his cousin Mrs. Disney Leith, with extracts from some of his private letters".
Illustrations: A.C. Swinburne, Ætat 25 / East Dene, Bonchurch / Rear-Admiral C.H. Swinburne / The Lady Jane Swinburne / Miss Alice Swinburne / Swinburne's Handwriting and Autograph, 1860 / Miss Isabel Swinburne / Swinburne's Handwriting and Autograph, 1907 228
Online: Internet Archive algernoncharles00swingoog.

The boyhood of Algernon Charles Swinburne (London: Chatto & Windus, 1917)
"Personal recollections by his cousin Mrs. Disney Leith, with extracts from some of his private letters". Different compilation of same material as previous title.
Online: Internet Archive boyhoodofalgerno00swin or boyhoodofalgerno00leituoft or boyhoodofalgerno00swinuoft.

Northern Lights and Other Verses  (London: Arthur L Humphreys, 1920)
Verse comprising a Northern Lights collection focusing on a journey from Scotland to Iceland, and Verses: various on mixed themes.
Online: full view via Hathitrust 009408822.

And that is mostly it. I'm pleased to have independently arrived at nearly the full set as identified by Powney and Mitchell, except for a final batch of articles/monographs that I doubt I've have found. These include:
  • Hvit the Fosterling, Monthly Packet (The Monthly Packet of Evening Readings for Younger Members of the English Church), London: John and Charles Mozley, Volume 27, February 1864, page 179, Google Books rmkJAAAAQAAJ). This is an anonymous retelling of elements of the Gísla saga, its authorship identified in 2003 by Helen Schinske, librarian and editor in Seattle, Washington, via a reference in the correspondence between the Packet editor, Charlotte Yonge, and the Reverend Algernon Wodehouse ("I shall be delighted to see another story of Miss Gordon's. I am in hopes that her icelandic one will appear in the Packet in February or March" - The Princeton University Library Chronicle, Volume 62, Issue 3, 2003).
  • Iceland Ponies. The Stable, 4 Feb. 1899. - some very obscure horse-y magazine. I haven't even been able to verify its existence as a publication; maybe it's a mountweazel.
  • Notes on some Icelandic Churches, Saga-Book of the Viking Society for Northern Research. IV, 1904-05 (see Index to Saga-Book Volumes 1-23,  JAB Townsend, Viking Society for Northern Research, University College London, 1999) .
  • A series of monographs on Icelandic topics in The Scottish Standard Bearer - "an illustrated monthly magazine for Scottish Churchmen" (in fact, for Scottish Episcopalians) including:
    "The Children of Lund", "A Visit to the Waterfalls of Southern Iceland.", "The Children of Thingvellir", "With Royalty at Thingvellir: the King of Denmark in Iceland", "Tryppa-Gisli: A Reykjavik Character" and "Climb to the Crater of Hekla".
See Powney and Mitchell, as referenced above, for the full attributions on these.

- Ray

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