Louisa Shore from Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

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Shore, Louisa Catherine (1824–1895), poet and writer, was born at Potton, Bedfordshire, on 20 February 1824. She was the fourth of at least five children and the youngest of the three daughters of Thomas Shore (1793–1863), Church of England clergyman and author, son of the Revd Thomas William Shore (1755/6–1822) of Otterton, Devon, and Juliana Mackworth Praed (b. c.1758), who were married at West Teignmouth, Devon, on 8 November 1785. Thomas Shore came from a good family; he was the nephew of John Shore, first Lord Teignmouth (1751–1834), and his mother was the aunt of the poet Winthrop Mackworth Praed. Thomas Shore matriculated at Wadham College, Oxford, on 9 June 1810 and graduated BA in 1814 and MA in 1818. He was a scholar at the college from 1812 to 1818. He took orders and married Margaret Anne Twopeny (d. c.1859), daughter of the Revd R. Twopeny, at Little Casterton, Rutland, on 19 December 1818. They had at least four other children in addition to Louisa Catherine Shore: (Margaret) Emily Shore (1819–1839), Richard Noel Shore (bap. 1821), Arabella Susanna Shore (bap. 1822, d. in or after 1897), and Mackworth Charles Shore (bap. 1825, d. 1860). After a short career as a schoolmaster at Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, and a period at Potton, Bedfordshire, Thomas Shore settled at Everton, Bedfordshire, where he received private pupils, some of whom later attained distinction—notably Charles John, Earl Canning, George Francis Robert, third Lord Harris, and Granville George Leveson-Gower, second Earl Granville. He also served as curate in the neighbouring parish of Cockayne Hatley. He wrote many classical and theological works but, holding somewhat unorthodox 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. Thomas Shore died on 4 July 1863, at his home at Elmers End, Beckenham, London.

Shore's three daughters were endowed with great literary gifts and enthusiasm for learning. (Margaret) Emily Shore was a gifted poet and writer whose life was cut short by tuberculosis. Louisa Shore spent time in Fulham, Middlesex, as a young woman, where she met Fanny Kemble and Sara Coleridge. She also travelled to France and spent eighteen months in and around Paris between 1851 and 1853. Her first published work was ‘War Music’, a poem on the Crimean War, which had been sent without her knowledge to The Spectator by her sister Arabella. The poem was reprinted in War Lyrics (1855), a collaboration between the two sisters, who produced three more volumes of poetry together. Louisa Shore's elegy on the deaths of her sister Emily and brother Mackworth Charles (lost at sea in 1860) was favourably compared to George Eliot's ‘Oh! may I join the choir invisible’ (Shore, 43). In 1861 she published Hannibal: a Poem of Two Parts, which received good reviews in The Athenaeum and the Saturday Review.

Louisa and Arabella Shore were early and enthusiastic advocates of the cause of women. An article by Louisa Shore in the Westminster Review for April 1874, reprinted several times as a pamphlet, contains a prescient discussion of the directions subsequently taken by the women's movement. She lived during the latter part of her life with Arabella at Orchard Poyle, Berkshire, near Taplow, Buckinghamshire. She died, unmarried, at 16 Hillside, Wimbledon, Surrey, on 24 May 1895 and was cremated in Brookwood cemetery, near Woking, Surrey.

L. H. Cust, rev. Megan A. Stephan


L. Shore, Poems: with a memoir by Arabella Shore and an appreciation by Frederic Harrison (1897) · Blain, Clements & Grundy, Feminist comp., 979 · S. J. Kunitz and H. Haycraft, eds., British authors of the nineteenth century (1936), 559–60 · CGPLA Eng. & Wales (1895) · IGI [Thomas Shore] · Foster, Alum. Oxon., 1715–1886 [Thomas Shore] · personal knowledge (1897) · private information (1897) · CGPLA Eng. & Wales (1863)


portrait, repro. in Shore, Poems, frontispiece

Wealth at death  

£8227 3s. 9d.: resworn probate, Nov 1895, CGPLA Eng. & Wales · under £12,000—Thomas Shore: probate, 11 Nov 1863, CGPLA Eng. & Wales

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L. H. Cust, ‘Shore, Louisa Catherine (1824–1895)’, rev. Megan A. Stephan, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/25453, accessed 19 Nov 2005]

Louisa Catherine Shore (1824–1895): doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/25453
Thomas Shore (1793–1863): doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/25455


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