Dialect in British Fiction: 1800-1836Funded by The Arts and Humanities Research CouncilSupported by The University of Sheffield
Full record including Speech Extracts
Meeke, MaryAnecdotes of the Altamont Family. A Novel. In four volumes. By the author of The Sicilian, &C.
Author Details
Surname:Meeke
First Names:Mary
Gender:Female
Anonymous:No
Publication Details
Publisher:Printed at the Minerva-Press for William Lane, Leadenhall-Street.
Place:London
Date:1800
Novel Details
Genre:Biography; courtship; inheritance/identity; manners/society
Setting:English country houses
Period:Contemporary (apparently)
Plot
This is a fictional biography, or, more accurately, the life, times, family and friends of Henry Melcome, son of a wealthy merchant. It includes many oft-treated themes and plots (adopted son turns out to be heir to title, much typically silver-fork description of social activity). However, there are some unusual aspects: Henry sets up a herring-salter's daughter in a quiet flat in London as a 'kept woman', then later finds her in bed with a stranger; his friend, Lord Delmont, is first attacked, and later kidnapped, by people in the pay of his father in a complex inheritance-stealing sub-plot involving a fantastically wealthy Italian widow. Complex (and unlikely) meshing of plots, but it has a fairly usual denouement and end.
Overview of the Dialect
Dialogue of some commoners included, although only brief snatches. Postillions (vol 1, p. 14) have non-standard grammar, two young girls, Betsey and her sister (vol 1, pp. 176-77) have (poss) regional (although might just be social) variety, and Martha (vol 2, pp. 27-32) has fairly lengthy non-standard dialogue.
Displaying 6 characters from this novel    |    Highlight dialect features in each extract    |    Do not highlight dialect features in each extract
Speaker #1:Postillions - Postillions
Individual or Group:Group
Primary Identity:Postillions
Gender:Male
Age:Adult - unspecified age
Narrative Voice:3rd person
Role:Peripheral
Dialect Features:

Social Role
Social Role Description:Postillions
Social Role Category:Trade or craft
Speaker's Origin
Place of Origin Description:Assume local to setting - Devizes, Wiltshire (although not specifically given in text)
Place of Origin Category:Devizes, Wiltshire, South West England, England
Speaker #2:Betsey and Patty Balfour - Child in a family that has servants but is not very orderly
Individual or Group:Group
Primary Identity:Unruly children
Gender:Female
Age:Child
Narrative Voice:3rd person
Role:Peripheral
Dialect Features:

Social Role
Social Role Description:Child in a family that has servants but is not very orderly
Social Role Category:Aristocracy or gentry
Speaker's Origin
Place of Origin Description:Unspecified but presumably England
Place of Origin Category:England
Speaker #3:Mrs. Mackintosh - Trade (by marriage)
Individual or Group:Individual
Primary Identity:wife of Banker and Hatter
Gender:Female
Age:Adult - middle aged
Narrative Voice:3rd person
Role:Peripheral
Dialect Features:

Social Role
Social Role Description:Trade (by marriage)
Social Role Category:Trade or craft
Speaker's Origin
Place of Origin Description:Scottish
Place of Origin Category:Scotland
Extract #1 dialect features:
Speakers: All , Mrs. Mackintosh
Extract #2 dialect features:
Speakers: All , Mrs. Mackintosh
Speaker #4:Martha - Individual
Individual or Group:Individual
Primary Identity:Old woman
Gender:Female
Age:Adult - elderly
Narrative Voice:3rd person
Role:Peripheral
Dialect Features:

Social Role
Social Role Description:
Social Role Category:Respectable poor
Speaker's Origin
Place of Origin Description:Unspecified, but presumably England
Place of Origin Category:England
Extract #1 dialect features:
Speakers: All , Martha, interlocutor
Extract #2 dialect features:
Speakers: All , Martha
Speaker #5:Rioters - Rioters
Individual or Group:Group
Primary Identity:Rioters
Gender:Male
Age:Adult - unspecified age
Narrative Voice:3rd person
Role:Peripheral
Dialect Features:

Social Role
Social Role Description:Rioters
Social Role Category:Criminal
Speaker's Origin
Place of Origin Description:Irish
Place of Origin Category:Ireland
Speaker #6:Mr Hawkins - Herring-salter
Individual or Group:Individual
Primary Identity:Merchant (herring-salter)
Gender:Male
Age:Adult - middle aged
Narrative Voice:3rd person
Role:Peripheral
Dialect Features:

Social Role
Social Role Description:Herring-salter
Social Role Category:Trade or craft
Speaker's Origin
Place of Origin Description:
Place of Origin Category:Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, East Anglia, England
Extract #1 dialect features:
Extract #2 dialect features:
Extract #3 dialect features:
Speakers: All , Mr Hawkins
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)