Titus Watkins

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Titus Watkins was a bookseller in St Paul's Churchyard. In September, 1816, he printed a book which he sold as Jonathan Strange's lost The History and Practice of English Magic, which Gilbert Norrell had caused to disappear the previous month. Watkins' rendition, however, was a combination of nonsense and passages copied out of The Tree of Learning by Gregory Absalom.

In January, 1817, Watkins published the volume known as The Black Letters, an unauthorized printed version of Strange's Venetian letters. Rev. Henry Woodhope, to whom Strange had addressed his Venetian correspondence, subsequently repudiated Watkins' volume, claiming the letters had been altered to reflect badly upon Strange's character. A suspicion arose, fairly or otherwise, that Gilbert Norrell had had a hand in the publishing of this dubious work[57, 58].

Watkins shared the surname of Rev. Woodhope's intended bride Sophronia Watkins, but it is not clear whether there was any family connexion between the two. The name is a common one, being also borne by the soldier Lord Wellington hails for information at Salamanca.