First published in 1891, The Risen Dead involves a labyrinthine plot that defies summary; imagine East Lynne on amphetamines. There is some egregious exposition at various points, but the delightful concluding farce inclines the reader towards forgiveness.
The Athenaeum commented: “Whatever may be the faults of Miss Marryat’s novel, it certainly cannot be said to lack the spice of sensationalism.”
The Glasgow Herald‘s reviewer, with a tone of resignation, wrote: “The novel has nothing whatever to recommend it beyond the fact that the author, as a rule, writes carefully and well. It is much too late in the day to begin to lecture her.”
The Academy rejoiced that the plot was “wonderfully free from slang and solecisms.”
The National Observer entered into the ‘spirit’ of necromancy: “Death, is is true, is treated with scant respect, and is made to come and go and dance to her piping in a way that is somewhat astonishing; but why not, if an idle hour be fleeted thereby?”