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Caroline Norton (1808 - 1877):
Writer


Caroline Norton was the sister of Lady Dufferin and a granddaughter of Richard Brinsley Sheridan. In 1829 she published The Sorrows of Rosalie: a Tale with other poems, and a year later, The Undying One. These were met with popular acclaim. In 1827 she had married the Honorable George Chapel Norton and they established a circle of social and political friends, including Lord Melbourne. The marriage quickly deteriorated, with Norton physically mistreating his wife, at the same time as asking her to use her political influence with her friends. Lord Melbourne, who was then Home Secretary had Norton appointed to a Metropolitan Police Magistracy in 1831. It was alleged that Caroline was Melbourne's mistress. In 1840 she published The Queen and other poems, and in 1845, The Child of the Islands. George Norton claimed the proceeds of her literary works, and the matter came to court, which declared its support for her husband. Caroline privately published a pamphlet, English Laws for Women in the 19th century, together with pamphlets on the Divorce Bill and on the rights of mothers to custody of their children her work culminated in the Married Woman's Property Act (1883).

Born: 22 March 1808
Died: 15 June 1877
Kate Newmann