How was de Morgan viewed by his contemporaries? I looked at Harmsworth’s Universal Encyclopedia, published in 1922, five years after he died. As you might expect, he was described as a “British novelist” and his pottery was treated as a detour.
“After studying at the Royal Academy, he devoted himself to working in pottery and glass. It was not until he reached his 66th year that his first novel, Joseph Vance, appeared.”
It concluded, “De Morgan is weak in plot construction, but his characterisation is good, and his depictions are true to life,” a fair summary.