Now I turn the floor over to Y.S. Lee :)
Welcome to the 4th installment in my series of Notorious Victorians, written to celebrate the publication of my second novel, The Body at the Tower. Yesterday, I talked about Charles Darwin as a reluctant revolutionary; today, I want to focus on Lady Caroline Norton, an author and society beauty who, despite her deeply conservative tendencies, became a high-profile campaigner for women’s legal rights.
After nine years, Norton left her husband. She earned enough through her writing (poetry and prose) to support herself, but despite their estrangement, George Norton successfully claimed all her money for himself. This was entirely legal: Caroline Norton was her husband’s property within the law, and everything she owned and earned belonged to him. Next, George Norton kidnapped their children and hid them with relatives. Again, Caroline Norton had no legal recourse against him and was denied access to her children for years. Finally, George Norton accused her of adultery with her good friend the Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, and demanded a large payout. Melbourne refused and the case went to court. Although Caroline Norton and Melbourne were found not guilty, the scandal still destroyed their reputations and almost brought down the government.
Thank you so much Y.S. Lee!
Follow the Notorious Victorians blog tour to A Reader's Adventure on August 9th (Monday). The tour stops on the weekend.
This guest post was brought to you by Traveling to Teens blog tours. You can find a full schedule of all the stops here