The Novels She ReadsThe novels she reports reading include two by Barbara Hofland, Patience and Perseverence and A Father as He Should Be; Self-Control, by Mary Brunton; and Conviction , by Anne of Swansea --all of which, it would appear, belong to a genre of novel popular in the late 18th and early 19th centuries whose aim was to both entertain and edify young women . Evidently, though the novels she reads may contain elements of the didactic, a common perception that novels are at best both a waste of time and very inferior to non-fiction and poetry seems implicit in Louisa's statement about the comparative reading habits of her mother and father.
I have just left Mama and Papa sitting reading--one, the newspaper; and the other, a novel. When mothers lead the way, it is no wonder if daughters goes astray. (O12)