Her underlying purpose is always religious. Her biographer
writes that filial duty is her great theme, to which both love and common sense must be sacrificed.
She advises submission as a Christian duty and not as an exclusively gendered ideal. She deals also in religious scruples and struggles: confirmation (as the climax of an education in spiritual self-examination) is often an issue for her characters.
was a staggeringly prolific author. Her more than two hundred works include domestic and historical novels for both adults and children, biographies, history and language textbooks, religious manuals, and a fragment of autobiography. She became famous without adopting many of the habits of the Victorian professional author: she published anonymously and donated most of her earnings to charity. Though her most successful titles remained household names for generations, many others in the Macmillan Uniform Edition were quickly forgotten.