first reached print with a collection of letters, the first of two which appeared over the course of her career. During fifty-four years, she published twelve novels, and twelve historical and biographical works. She edited several posthumous works by others and also produced writing for children. Many of her works were inspired by historical events or figures as well as by English folklore and legend. Some of her novels proved controversial for alleged anti-Catholicism at a time of fierce debate over Catholic Emancipation; much of her fiction and history focuses on Protestant resistance to religious oppression. A popular success during the mid-Victorian period,
has of late received little critical attention.