Lunchtime Lecture: Criminal Conversation of Mrs Norton
Past event archive
22 August 2013, 13:15-14:00
Ondaatje Wing Theatre
Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton (née Sheridan, later Lady Stirling-Maxwell)
by Unknown photographer
The story of Mrs Norton, a 19th century campaigner for women’s rights whose life changed after accusations of an affair with the Prime Minister.
Dr Diane Atkinson examines the extraordinary story of Mrs Norton; one woman's fight for the rights of women after she was publically accused, by her husband, of adultery with the Prime Minister. The accusation sparked the 'scandal of the century', and despite her acquittal, Mrs Norton was ruined. For the next thirty years she campaigned for women and battled male-dominated Victorian society, helping to write the Infant Custody Act (1839), and influenced the Matrimonial Causes (Divorce) Act (1857) and the Married Women's Property Act (1870).
Diane Atkinson, curator and biographer whose previous books include Love and Dirt: the Marriage of Arthur Munby and Hannah Cullwick and Elsie and Mairi Go To War: Two Extraordinary Women on the Western Front, which tells the story of one of the first great feminis.