A New York-born historian known for her work on English culture during the Victorian era, she also published books and articles pertaining to contemporary intellectual history. Her scholarly works include The De-Moralization of Society: From Victorian Virtues to Modern Values (1995) and Marriage and Morals Among the Victorians (1986).
She studied at Cambridge and went on to receive her doctorate in 1950 from the University of Chicago. She taught for many years at the City University of New York.
Her publications impressed even those, like Britain's former prime minister,
Her son, William Kristol, founded the conservative magazine The Weekly Standard.