Vignette: Miss Edgworth Temple or James Templeman?

Our newest Stainforth researcher, Faith, sent me a Slack message saying that she found a case of a male author in the Stainforth catalog publishing under the name of a woman. This would be James Templeman publishing as Miss Edgworth Temple, author of The Mysterious Shriek, or, Alexander and Lavinia: a metrical tale. Also, the ancient story of Pluto and Proserpine, and Cupid’s Delirium. From the Greek (1809). Stainforth lists four titles under Temple, Miss Edgworth (page 143):

  • Metrical Tales 1809
  • Mysterious Shreik or Alcander 1809
  • Alphonzo + Clementina 1809

Recently, I ran into another case of a man publishing with a woman’s name on the title page — this was also a Stainforth book. The author was Sir John Dallas publishing under the name Miss Emily Brittle in The India Guide (1785), a satire written by the fictional Emily Brittle concerning her experiences moving to India in search of a husband. Keeping his name off the title page has radical consequences for how this poem reads, since Dallas makes Brittle take credit for authoring a satire of herself. So, I met the Templeman/Edgworth scenario with a lot of skepticism. Are we sure that there isn’t an author named Edgworth behind these titles? Might Templeman be the publisher or printer or a co-author or co-editor? Maybe a spouse? Or was this another scenario where a male author puts the name of his fictional character on the title page as a prank at her expense? It turns out that, of course, Faith was correct, and we have more research to do.

Here’s some proof that Templeman seems to have been the author: an article in the Literary Panorama for 1808 that gives him credit for this title and more that match Stainforth’s catalog.

Mr. James Templeman, author of Alexander and Lavinia, has a new work in the press entitled Alphonzo and Clementinaor the Triumph of Reason with a variety of other tales and ballads. (301)

There’s one mystery solved. The next is why did he put Miss Edgworth Temple on the title page and not his own name? See the copy at the British Library here, and it even has Stainforth’s bookplate in it.

Who is James Templeman? I have not yet found biographical information on him or why he used a female pseudonym. But I have found a few more titles that he published:

  • Gilbert, Or, The Young Carrier: An Amatory Rural Poem in Four Books (1808) – in Google Books

  • Rural poems and tales : in imitation of Bloomfield (1809-10) (Worldcat record). This title looks extremely rare, and what I wouldn’t give to be at Yale right now to see it.

Here is Templeman’s Worldcat author page that puts all of this together, yet leaves so many questions: http://www.worldcat.org/wcidentities/lccn-nr97039331.

Do you know why Templeman published The Mysterious Shriek and metrical tales under the name Miss Temple Edgworth? If you have more information on Templeman, Edgworth, or these titles, we would love to know!

 

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