Page:Female Prose Writers of America.djvu/377
Mrs. Clara Moore is a native of Westfield, Massachusetts, but has resided in Philadelphia since her marriage. Her maiden name was Jessup. She has distinguished herself as a writer both of prose and of poetry, but principally of the former. Her stories are natural in their incidents, gracefully written, and full of fine delineation of character. A vein of sentiment, which pervades most of her writings, renders them especial favourites with her sex. In describing the struggles of woman’s heart, when actuated by the passion of love, she is peculiarly happy: indeed, few female authors in the United States excel her in this respect. Her story entitled “Emma Dudley’s Secret” is an instance in point. This powerful tale has been republished in London with much success. “The Mother-in-Law” and “The Estranged Hearts,” both prize tales, may be quoted as happy illustrations of her style.
It is a high merit with Mrs. Moore, that she seeks her subjects in everyday life, instead of dealing in the visionary regions of inflated romance. The calamities which oppress her heroines are such as might happen to any woman. Another merit in this author is, that instead of confining herself to the passion of love, as it exists in the female heart before marriage, she depicts it in the varied trials to which it is subjected after marriage; and this opens a mine which has been but little worked by novelists. Mrs. Moore understands her own sex thoroughly. It would be difficult, perhaps impossible, for a man to anatomize the female heart as she has done. Her plots are generally well managed, though she has as yet published no fiction of sufficient length to test her powers in this respect fully. As a magazinist, she enjoys an enviable reputation. Her success, indeed, is the more distinguished because authorship with her is an amusement rather than a profession. She wisely considers, that the duties of a wife and mother are paramount, and hence it is only her leisure that she surrenders to literature. Her pride is to be a woman first, an