Sisters Jane and Anna Maria Porter were wildly popular writers–among the most widely-read writers in Regency England. (Yes, more popular than Jane Austen!) Their novels were on every British bookshelf, their poetry was popular and acclaimed, and Jane Porter’s historical novel The Scottish Chiefs would retain its popularity for nearly 150 years.
So how did these bestselling icons of British literature end up nearly penniless and living as “professional houseguests” without a home to call their own? And why did the eternal fame they expected elude them in the end? In today’s episode, meet the sister novelists whose lives were every bit as dramatic as the historical novels they wrote.