Clara Balfour, like many Victorians, wrote prolifically on the subject of temperance, arguing its importance for a healthy society. Her other works often had theological or anti-socialist aims. Her works include moral and didactic pamphlets, short stories for both adults and children, novels, and contributions to periodicals including literary criticism. Her biographical works about women give her significance in the development of women's literary history. In writing and lecturing on the achievements of women, particularly writers, she stressed the importance of women's education. She produced more than sixty publications, many of which went through multiple editions.