Catherine Stepney

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Catherine Stepney
Lady Catherine Stepney by Richard Cockle Lucas.JPG
Lady Catherine Stepney by Richard Cockle Lucas
Born(1778-12-23)23 December 1778
Died14 April 1845(1845-04-14) (aged 66)
Other namesCatherine Manners

Catherine Stepney (23 December 1778 – 14 April 1845) was a British novelist.


Catherine Pollok was born in Grittleton, Wiltshire in 1778. Her first husband was Russell Manners, whom she divorced. In 1813 she married Sir Thomas Stepney who was the ninth and as it turned out the last Stepney baronet, of Prendergast. He was a groom of the bed-chamber to the Duke of York and he died without issue in 1825.

Stepney is credited with writing six novels, but Mary Mitford claimed that Stepney's drafts were honed and polished by Letitia Elizabeth Landon.[1] She wrote two novels during her first marriage, and four known as the silver fork novels after her second marriage were about the high society she frequented.[1][2]

Stepney was known as a hostess because her house was a meeting place for London's artistic and literary society.[1] In 1836 she modelled for a bust by Richard Cockle Lucas who portrayed her as Cleopatra. This bust is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum.[3] The National Portrait Gallery has a painting of her made by John Hayter.[4]

Stepney died in London in 1845.[1] After her death there were accounts of how she was unaware that her novels were not always well regarded.[5]


Catherine Manners[edit]

  • Castle Nuovier, or Henry and Adelina, Catherine Manners, 1806
  • The Lords of Erith, Catherine Manners, 1809

Catherine Stepney[edit]

  • The New Road to Ruin, Catherine Stepney, 1833
  • The Heir Presumptive, Catherine Stepney, 1835
  • The Courtier's Daughter, Catherine Stepney, 1838, 1841
  • The Three Peers, Catherine Stepney, 1841


  1. ^ a b c d Catherine Stepney, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, retrieved 5 December 2014
  2. ^ "wikisource biography". Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  3. ^ Catherine, Lady Stepney (d. 1845) as Cleopatra, Richard Cockle Lucas, retrieved 4 December 2014
  4. ^ Catherine Stepney, John Hayter, National Portrait Gallery, London
  5. ^ A greybeard's gossip about his literary acquaintance, New Monthly Magazine, Volume 80, 1847