A Night In with Lady Antonia Fraser
To mark the publication of The Case of the Married Woman
Join award-winning historian and author Lady Antonia Fraser as she shares the story of Caroline Norton, a 19th century heroine who wanted justice for women.
Poet, pamphleteer and beauty, Caroline dazzled nineteenth-century society with her vivacity and intelligence. But when her husband, racked with jealousy, took one of her admirers – Prime Minister Lord Melbourne – to court and sued him for damages on account of his ‘criminal conversation’ (adultery) with Caroline, a dramatic trial ensued. Caroline was denied access to her three children under seven, and her husband claimed her income as an author for himself, since the copyrights of a married woman belonged to her husband.
In conversation for this Fane Online event, Antonia considers Caroline’s desperate situation, and how she refused to despair – choosing to fight, not surrender. Antonia will explore how Caroline fought for the rights of married women and campaigned tirelessly for the Infant Custody Act, highlighting how provisions which are now taken for granted, such as the right of a mother to have access to her own children, owe much to Caroline, who was determined to secure justice for women at all levels of society from the privileged to the dispossessed.
Bringing history brilliantly to life, Antonia portrays a woman, at once courageous and compassionate, who refused to be curbed by the personal and political constraints of her time. Informative and entertaining in equal measure, this is promises to be a memorable evening with one of the greatest historical authors of our time.