Catherine Grace Frances Gore (Moody) (1799 – 1861) was a British novelist and dramatist, daughter of a wine merchant at Retford, where she was born. She is amongst the well-known of the silver fork writers - authors of the Victorian era depicting the gentility and etiquette of high society. Catherine Gore was a very prolific worker. There is something of Jane Austen’s influence to be traced in her novels. In Mothers and Daughters (1831) and in Mrs. Armytage, or Female Domination (1836) there is considerable ability. Mothers and Daughters strives for fidelity to life and unity of form and matter; and the study of the heartless “society” mother, Lady Maria Willingham, is a finely-painted piece of work.
Mothers and Daughters main subject is a husband-hunt on the part of a selfish widow of fashion, in behalf of a pair of lovely daughters, who have been duly educated for the chase. We have the rash marriage of the mother, Lady Maria De Vesci, to a poor man with expectations, because she could get no other; and which, since it ended in an elopement, was always called a love-match, though the whole had been a matter of strict calculation; and next there is the career of her two beautiful daughters, whom she chaperones in vain through many seasons of London life...
The New monthly magazine, 1831 — It would be difficult to lay down such a book until every chapter had been perused. Elegance and force of style—highly but faithfully wrought pictures of society—are merits scarcely secondary to those we have enumerated; and they are equally displayed throughout.
Spectator, 1831 — “The best novel of the season—a faithful, exact, and withal spirited picture of the aristocracy of this country—an admirable description of what is called high life, and full of a more enlarged knowledge of human nature. This is the novel which should have been called the Exclusives. We recommend Mothers and Daughters to readers of all classes: to the politician and moralist the Work will give information—to the novel reader amusement.”
The Westminster review, April 1831 — If Horace were to re-appear he would write in prose, and such novels as Mothers and Daughters would not be unworthy occupation for his trenchant pen.