Caroline Norton

(1622 words)
  • Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt

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 …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Shurbutt, Sylvia Bailey. "Caroline Norton". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 February 2006
[, accessed 03 July 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Victorian Women's Writing