Caroline Norton (1621 words)

  • Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt (Shepherd College )

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While composing her most important political tract, English Laws for Women (1854), Caroline Elizabeth Sheridan Norton shrewdly chose to assume a conventionally “feminine”, concessionary persona, a deliberately subversive political tactic. However, Norton’s private papers, letters, novels, and polemical writings reveal an individual with strong feminist sentiments, determined to alter English law. Having lived her life among politicians and powerful men, Caroline Norton was pragmatic enough to discern what she believed to be a workable approach to change nineteenth-century child custody and women’s property laws. Hers was an astute and practical gender politics. Her strategy – that of playing the role of “angel” in …

Shurbutt, Sylvia Bailey. "Caroline Norton". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 February 2006
[, accessed 26 October 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Victorian Women's Writing