One critic suggests that
may have been a key transitional figure in moving British literary tastes from the Romantics to the novels of domestic realism written from the 1840s.
Generally, however, she is grouped with
or the later writer
as purveying suffocating middle-class ideologies of womanhood. In The Women of England
and its sequels she produced prescriptive anthropology—itself a bourgeois fantasy—of middle-class domesticity. Critics
place her in the company of
as one of the deep designers of the midcentury family imagination.
, author of thirty-four books, was the most popular writer of Victorian conduct literature. Her four advice books addressed women in the burgeoning middle class; she also wrote novels, poems, and didactic short fiction.