Catherine Gore

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Catherine Grace Frances Gore

Catherine Grace Frances Gore (née Moody; 12 February 1798 – 29 January 1861)[1] was a British novelist and dramatist, daughter of a wine merchant at Retford, where she was born. She is amongst the best known of silver fork writers – authors of the "long" Regency era depicting the gentility and etiquette of high society.[2]


Early life and marriage

Gore was born in 1798 in London, the youngest child of Mary (née Brinley) and Charles Moody, a wine merchant. Her father died soon afterwards, and her mother remarried in 1801, to London physician Charles D. Nevinson. She is thus sometimes referred to as "Miss Nevinson" by contemporary reviewers and in scholarship. Catherine was interested in writing from an early age, gaining the nickname "the Poetess".[1]

She married Lieutenant Charles Arthur Gore of the 1st Regiment of Life Guards on 15 February 1823 at St George's, Hanover Square; Gore retired later that year. They had ten children, eight of whom died at a young age. They had one surviving son, Captain Augustus Frederick Wentworth Gore, and one daughter, Cecilia Anne Mary, who married Lord Edward Thynne in 1853.[1]

Literary career

Her first novel, Theresa Marchmont, or The Maid of Honour, was published in 1824. Her first major success was Pin Money, published in 1831, but her most popular and well-known novel was to be Cecil, or Adventures of a Coxcomb published in 1841. Gore also found success as a playwright, writing eleven plays that made their way to the London stage, though her plays never quite became as famous as her witty novels.

The Gores resided mainly on Continental Europe, with Catherine supporting her family by her voluminous writings. Between 1824 and 1862 she produced about 70 works, the most successful of which were novels of fashionable English life. Among these may be mentioned Manners of the Day (1830), Cecil, or the Adventures of a Coxcomb (1841), and The Banker's Wife (1843). She also wrote for the stage, and composed music for songs.

Gore's 1861 obituary in The Times concluded that Gore was "the best novel writer of her class and the wittiest woman of her age."

Novels by Catherine Gore

  • The Broken Hearts (1823)
  • Theresa Marchmont, or the Maid of Honour (1824)
  • The Bond: A Dramatic Poem (1824)
  • Richelieu, or the Broken Heart (1826)
  • The Lettre de Cachet: A Tale (1827)
  • The Reign of Terror: A Tale (1827)
  • Hungarian Tales (1829)
  • Romances of Real Life (1829)
  • Women as They Are, or The Manners of The Day (1830)
  • The Historical Traveller (1831)
  • The School for Coquettes (1831)
  • Pin Money: A Novel (1831)
  • The Tuileries: A Tale (1831)
  • Mothers and Daughters: A Tale of the Year 1830 (1831)
  • The Opera: A Novel (1832)
  • The Fair of Mayfair (1832)
  • The Sketchbook of Fashion (1833)
  • Polish Tales (1833)
  • The Hamiltons, or the New Era (1834)
  • The Maid of Crossey, King O'neil, and The Queen's Champion (1835)
  • The Diary of a Désennuyée (1836)
  • Mrs. Armytage, or Female Domination (1836)
  • Stokeshill Place, or The Man of Business (1837)
  • The Rose Fancier's Manual (1838)
  • Mary Raymond and Other Tales (1838)
  • The Woman of the World (1838)
  • The Cabinet Minister (1839)
  • The Courtier of the Days of Charles II, with other Tales (1839)
  • A Good Night's Rest (1839)
  • Dacre of the South, or the Olden Time: A Drama (1840)
  • The Dowager, or the New School for Scandal (1840)
  • Preferment, or My Uncle the Earl (1840)
  • The Abbey and Other Tales (1840)
  • Greville, or a Season in Paris (1841)
  • Cecil, or Adventures of a Coxcomb (1841)
  • Cecil, A Peer (1841)
  • Paris in 1841 (1842)
  • The Man of Fortune and Other Tales (1842)
  • The Ambassador's Wife (1842)
  • The Moneylender (1843)
  • Modern Chivalry, or a New Orlando Furiso (1843)
  • The Banker's Wife, or Court and City (1843)
  • Agathonia: A Romance (1844)
  • Marrying for Money (in Omnibus of Modern Romance (1844)
  • The Birthright and Other Tales (1844)
  • Quid per Quo, or the Day of The Dupes, a Comedy (1844)
  • The Popular Member: The Wheel of Fortune (1844)
  • Self (1845)
  • The Story of a Royal Favourite (1845)
  • The Snowstorm: A Christmas Story (1845)
  • Peers and Parvenus: A Novel (1846)
  • New Year's Day: A Winter's Tale (1846)
  • Men of Capital (1846)
  • The Debutante, or The London Season (1846)
  • Sketches of English Character (1846)
  • Castles in The Air: A Novel (1847)
  • Temptation and Atonement and Other Tales (1847)
  • The Inundation, or Pardon and Peace: A Christmas Story (1847)
  • The Diamond and the Pearl: A Novel (1849)
  • Adventures in Borneo (1849)
  • The Dean's Daughter, or The Days We Live In (1853)
  • The Lost Son: A Winter's Tale (1854)
  • Transmutation, or The Lord and the Lost (1854)
  • Progress and Prejudice (1854)
  • Mammon, or The Hardships of an Heiress (1855)
  • A Life's Lessons: A Novel (1856)
  • The Two Aristocracies: A Novel (1857)
  • Heckington: A Novel (1858)



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Hughes, Winifred. "Gore , Catherine Grace Frances (1798–1861)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. Catherine Gore 1799(?) – 1861

External links

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainCousin, John William (1910). A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London: J. M. Dent & Sons. Wikisource