Shore, Louisa Catherine (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 52
Shore, Louisa Catherine

by Lionel Henry Cust
Contains subarticle Thomas Shore (1793–1863).

SHORE, LOUISA CATHERINE (1824–1895), poetess and miscellaneous writer, born at Potton, Bedfordshire, in February 1824, was the youngest of the three daughters of Thomas Shore (1793–1863), whose wife, Margaret Anne, was daughter of the Rev. R. Twopeny. He was himself son of the Rev. T. W. Shore of Otterton, Devonshire, and nephew of John Shore, first lord Teignmouth [q. v.]; while his mother, Juliana Praed, was aunt of Winthrop Mackworth Praed [q. v.] After a short career as a schoolmaster at Bury St. Edmunds, and a sojourn at Potton, Bedfordshire, he settled at Everton, where he received private pupils, some of whom attained distinction in after life—notably, Charles John, earl Canning [q. v.], George Francis Robert, third lord Harris [q. v.], and Granville George Leveson-Gower, second earl Granville [q. v.] He also served as curate in the neighbouring parish of Cockayne Hatley. He was the author of many classical and theological works, but, holding somewhat advanced views on religion, declined preferment in the church. In 1863 he published ‘The Churchman and the Freethinker, or a Friendly Address to the Orthodox,’ a pamphlet which attracted notice.

His three daughters were all endowed with great literary gifts and enthusiasm for learning. The eldest, Margaret Emily Shore (1819–1839), born at Bury St. Edmunds on Christmas day 1819, wrote much poetry and fiction as well as treatises on ancient and natural history, but died of consumption at Madeira on 7 July 1839, before completing her twentieth year. A selection from her ‘Journal,’ published by her sisters in 1891, gives a lively and fascinating account of her life and studies.

Louisa Shore was associated with her sister Arabella (who survives) in many literary productions. The two sisters produced in 1855 a volume of poems entitled ‘War Lyrics;’ ‘Gemma of the Isles, a Lyrical Poem,’ in 1859; ‘Fra Dolcino, and other Poems,’ in 1871; and ‘Elegies and Memorials,’ in 1890. The principal poems in these volumes were the work of Louisa, notably a fine elegy in the last volume on the death of their sister Margaret Emily and on the more recent loss of their brother, Mackworth Charles Shore, at sea in 1860. She published separately in 1861 ‘Hannibal: a Poem in two parts.’ A selection of her unpublished poems was edited, after her death, by her sister in 1896, with an appreciative notice by Mr. Frederic Harrison, and a reissue of some of her dramas and poems appeared in 1897. All her work was vigorous and of lofty purpose. She and her sister were early and enthusiastic advocates of the cause of women. An article by Miss Shore in the ‘Westminster Review’ for April 1874, printed soon after as a pamphlet (and since reprinted), contains the gist of the whole subsequent movement in this direction at a time when it was imperfectly understood. Miss Shore resided for the latter part of her life with her sister Arabella at Orchard Poyle, near Taplow, Buckinghamshire. She died at Wimbledon in May 1895, and was cremated in Brookwood cemetery at Woking.

[Memoir prefixed to posthumous Poems, 1896; Journal of Emily Shore; private information and personal knowledge.]

L. C.