Dacre, a "silver fork" novel was published in 1834. The hero and heroine of Dacre have each a conspicuous failing: Dacre is proud; Lady Emily Somers carries the principle of filial duty to excess. The plot turns on the uncertainty which attends the birth of Dacre. He has youth, fortune, accomplishments: he loves and is beloved by Lady Emily Somers; but the doubt which hangs over the question of his mother's marriage is the drop of wormwood which embitters his cup of happiness…
The Author
Maria Theresa Lister, born on 8 March 1803, was the only daughter of George Villiers. She married on 6 November 1830, Thomas Henry Lister (1800-1842), whose Granby is perhaps the definitive example of the silver fork novel-genre, which was fashionable in the late-1820s and 1830s. They had three children: Thomas, Maria and Alice. On 26 October 1844 she married her second husband, Sir George Cornewall Lewis. She survived her second husband two years, and died 9 November 1865, at Brasenose College, Oxford.
Contemporary Reviews
The London Literary Gazette, 1834 — Where taste, talent, good sense, acumen, and elegant literature in which to embody them, are appreciated, Dacre will be read with pleasure and admired.
The Edinburgh Review, July 1834 — Its charm lies in the skill and delicacy with which it traces those universal feelings which link all classes of society together; subjected, no doubt, to a more artificial system of control and concealment in the palace than in the cottage, but not the less influencing the conduct, and deciding the fate of their inmates for happiness or suffering.
The Quarterly Review, 1834 — There is a faultlessness in point of taste, and an ease and lightness of style in this novel, which are well suited to represent the agreeable gracefulness of the society in which its scenes are laid. The characters are numerous and life-like, and, without being violently contrasted, are diversified and stand in free relief from each other; and there is a knowledge of the component parts of society in high life, and an insight into the working of that complex machine, which could only be the result of an acute and discriminating faculty of observation,



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