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The Criminal Conversation of Mrs Norton

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The Criminal Conversation of Mrs Norton, Diane Atkinson, book review“A woman is made a helpless wretch by these laws of men” – Caroline Norton writing to Mary Shelley, 1837.

Caroline Norton is a name that deserves to be more widely known. Famous in her day, she left a profound and lasting legacy for women in Britain, and Diane Atkinson’s new book The Criminal Conversation of Mrs Norton rightly trains the spotlight back on this remarkable woman. Had she been a man, history would probably have recorded her name as a reformer along the lines of William Wiberforce, but as such she appears to have been largely forgotten now. This is an important story that women, particularly wives and mothers, everywhere should be familiar with and thankful for.


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