Life and its Lessons
Catherine Anne Austen & Mrs. Hubback
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Kate Penrose is a girl of nineteen, brought up in almost conventual seclusion under the care of her grand-parents—people of the old school— a very worthy old couple, but whose stiff formality and rigid notions of decorum do not hinder their being great fools. This young girl has never left home in her life,—and never had any other relaxation than that of taking the newspaper “once a week to old Mrs. Clayton, who, with her little handmaid, lived in a very small house about half a quarter of a mile from her grandfather's." This monotony is broken in upon by the apparition of a stranger,—very good looking, of course, of elegant manners and amusing conversation,—who, it seems, having heard that Miss Kate Penrose is an heiress living as we have described, has come down to the village with the fixed intention of marrying her and paying his debts with her dowry.
Godey's Magazine, 1852: This is a novel of very superior merit, chaste and agreeable in style, as well in its morality and sentiments.
Rockland County Journal, April 3 1852: This is one of Dewitt & Davenport's excellent publications. The authoress aims at something more than merely to produce an entertaining work; and she has given us one not only highly interesting but also instructive. She writes with a pointed pen, and her delineations of character are graphic and correct. The work is well adapted to the family-circle, and free from most of the objections generally urged against fictions.
Catherine Anne Austen (Mr. Hubback)This lady is well-known and highly esteemed as a writer; for her novels are in themselves good, and they have additional interest as coming from the niece of Miss Austin. It is true that Miss Austen's works are as generally neglected as they are universally eulogized, and that, instead of reading them in private and condemning them in public, most people do not peruse them in the closet or anywhere else, and yet make a point of praising them in the drawing-room. Still it is not less the fact that her name and genius, though not popular, are generally approved, and that the consequences of this singular regard have been most beneficial to Mrs. Hubback in literature. Mrs. Hubback has been and promises to be the most prolific creator of novels, for we believe that The Younger Sister, The Wife's Sister, The Rival Suitors, The Old Vicarage, May and December, Malvern, Life and its Lessons, and Agnes Milbourne, are not all the fictions which have proceeded from her pen since the commencement of 1850. (Novels and novelists: from Elizabeth to Victoria by John Cordy Jeaffreson, 1858)