Dialect in British Fiction: 1800-1836Funded by The Arts and Humanities Research CouncilSupported by The University of Sheffield
Full record including Speech Extracts
Sebright, PaulAdele; or, the Tomb of My Mother. A Novel. In Four Volumes.
Author Details
Surname:Sebright
First Names:Paul
Gender:Male
Anonymous:No
Publication Details
Publisher:Printed for A. K. Newman and Co. Leadenhall-Street.
Place:London
Date:1824
Novel Details
Genre:Adventure; courtship; inheritance/identity
Setting:Cheriton, Kent; Normandy
Period:Contemporary
Plot
A vicar lives on the Kentish coast near a Catholic woman called Adele who keeps French servants but whose own origins are swathed in mystery. Her son, Claude, is educated by the vicar despite his Anglican beliefs, until a Jesuit priest named Father Adrian appears one day to take Claude to be educated in France. On the eve of Claude's departure, he is abducted by a couple named Edmund and Anne Osterley.
The Osterleys depart, with Claude in tow, for France, where they lodge with an Irishman called Liffey O'Paole. While in France Edmund and Anne are arrested for attacking the Frenchman, Pierre, who conveyed them across the channel. Anne repents while in prison and, by chance, encounters Father Adrian who discovers the truth about the abduction. Father Adrian sends her back to England with her two daughters (Claire and Clotilde) and Claude, to return the latter to his family. By this stage Adele has died, and Edmund has gone mad with guilt in prison.
Upon her return to England, Anne dies without revealing the truth. It transpires that her real identity is Lady Anne Oswestry, the sister-in-law of Lady Susan (an acquaintance of the vicar). After wrangling with Lady Susan, the vicar is allowed to take Claude into his care. Claude, now a young adult, is resented by Lady Samuel and Sir Samuel Oswestry (who has discovered the truth about Claude but not revealed it). Claude falls in love with Anne's daughter Claire (who has been raised by Lady Susan). But Lady Susan prefers the obnoxious Crump, son of her favourite, Mrs Crump, and nephew of Sir Samuel.
Encouraged by Croatz, a Swiss man, formerly in Sir Samuel's employ, Claude goes to Normandy to find Edmund. He learns the truth (i.e. that his mother is Adele) and brings Edmund, along with Father Adrian back to England. He also encounters a young poet called Ernest. Upon returning to England, it transpires that Ernest is Croatz's father.
Finally, following a sermon, the the vicar reveals all regarding the abduction of Claude. Adele was an aristocrat (the sister to the Earl of Tewkesbury) who secretly married the Earl of Richborough (the brother of Lady Susan). Anne Oswestry abducted Claude because he stood in the way of her inheriting the wealth of her brother, Sir Lydden Oswestry. It also transpires that Ernest is Sir Lydden's son, and that Sir Samuel urged Croatz to abduct him when an infant (so that he too might gain the inheritance). After the truth is established, Claude marries Claire and Ernest marries Clotilde.
Overview of the Dialect
Adele's servants, Justine and Leclerc in particular, speak a gallicised form of English, distinguished by its grammar (e.g. periphrastic 'the'), respelling (e.g. v-w transposition) and occasional French words and phrases. The speech of Liffey O'Paole, an Irishman who lives in France, features dialectal discourse markers (e.g. 'Faidth') and respellings (e.g. 'wanderful'). Notably, Liffey code-switches into (apparently undialectal) French at a number of points. The vicar's servant Julius speaks in a regionally non-specific sociolect ('wi'' for 'with'). There is also some interesting metalanguage concerning the 'Kentish teeth-closed accent' (vol. 3, p.270).
Displaying 6 characters from this novel    |    Highlight dialect features in each extract    |    Do not highlight dialect features in each extract
Speaker #1:Justine - Nurse
Individual or Group:Individual
Primary Identity:Justine
Gender:Female
Age:Adult - unspecified age
Narrative Voice:1st person
Role:Minor
Dialect Features:

Social Role
Social Role Description:Nurse
Social Role Category:Servant
Speaker's Origin
Place of Origin Description:France
Place of Origin Category:France
Extract #1 dialect features:
Speakers: All , Justine, interlocutor
Extract #2 dialect features:
Speakers: All , Justine, narrator, Leclerc
Extract #3 dialect features:
Speakers: All , Justine, narrator
Speaker #2:Leclerc - Servant
Individual or Group:Individual
Primary Identity:Leclerc
Gender:Male
Age:Adult - unspecified age
Narrative Voice:1st person
Role:Minor
Dialect Features:

Social Role
Social Role Description:Servant
Social Role Category:Servant
Speaker's Origin
Place of Origin Description:France
Place of Origin Category:France
Speaker #3:Liffey O'Paole - Sailor
Individual or Group:Individual
Primary Identity:Liffey
Gender:Male
Age:Adult - young
Narrative Voice:1st person
Role:Minor
Dialect Features:

Social Role
Social Role Description:Sailor
Social Role Category:Seafarer
Speaker's Origin
Place of Origin Description:Dublin, Ireland
Place of Origin Category:Dublin, East Ireland, Ireland
Extract #1 dialect features:
Extract #2 dialect features:
Extract #3 dialect features:
Speaker #4:Julius - Servant
Individual or Group:Individual
Primary Identity:Julius
Gender:Male
Age:Adult - unspecified age
Narrative Voice:1st person
Role:Minor
Dialect Features:

Social Role
Social Role Description:Servant
Social Role Category:Servant
Speaker's Origin
Place of Origin Description:Cheriton, Kent
Place of Origin Category:Cheriton, Kent, South East England, England
Extract #1 dialect features:
Speakers: All , Julius, interlocutor
Extract #2 dialect features:
Speakers: All , Julius, interlocutor
Speaker #5:John Cornish - Unspecified
Individual or Group:Individual
Primary Identity:John Cornish
Gender:Male
Age:Adult - young
Narrative Voice:1st person
Role:Peripheral
Dialect Features:

Social Role
Social Role Description:Unspecified
Social Role Category:Unspecified
Speaker's Origin
Place of Origin Description:Cheriton, Kent.
Place of Origin Category:Cheriton, Kent, South East England, England
Speaker #6:Roguish fellow - Sailor
Individual or Group:Individual
Primary Identity:Roguish fellow
Gender:Male
Age:Adult - unspecified age
Narrative Voice:1st person
Role:Peripheral
Dialect Features:

Social Role
Social Role Description:Sailor
Social Role Category:Seafarer
Speaker's Origin
Place of Origin Description:Kent
Place of Origin Category:Kent, South East England, England
Displaying 6 characters from this novel    |    Highlight dialect features in each extract    |    Do not highlight dialect features in each extract
Version 1.1 (December 2015)Background image reproduced from the Database of Mid Victorian Illustration (DMVI)