In 1812 Opie published her fourth novel. The book takes its title from The Triumphs of Temper, a poem by William Hayley which Opie had read as a child with her mother. Her compliment in quoting from the text was repaid when Hayley published a new edition of the poem later that year including lines in praise of “the graceful Opie,” and the two writers became friends and correspondents. The novel itself strikes a didactic tone, demonstrating the dangerous consequences when parents do not discipline the temper of their children. Reviews of the novel were generally positive, if a bit lukewarm, though The European Magazine published a poem in its praise [“Impromptu on reading Mrs. Opie’s admirable work, ‘Temper'” LXXXII (1822): 495] and private correspondents assured her of the beneficial effects of its moral lessons.
Temper; or, Domestic Scenes; A Tale in 3 Volumes. 3 vols., London:
Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1812.
—–. 2nd ed., 3 vols., London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1812.
—–. 3rd ed., 3 vols., London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1813.
Country Magazine, vol. 1, Jan. 1813, pp. 23-31.
The Scottish Review (Edinburgh Monthly Review), vol 1, Sept. 1812, pp. 197-216.