Norton, Caroline

▪ British writer
original name in full  Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Sheridan 
born , March 22, 1808, London, Eng.
died June 15, 1877, London

      English poet and novelist whose matrimonial difficulties prompted successful efforts to secure legal protection for married women.

      Granddaughter of the playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan, she began to write while in her teens. The Sorrows of Rosalie (1829) and The Undying One (1830) caused her to be hailed as a female Byron. In 1827 she made an unfortunate marriage to the Honourable George Norton, whom she left in 1835. In retaliation, Norton brought an unsuccessful action against the prime minister, Lord Melbourne, for seducing his wife. Norton then refused his wife access to their children, and her outcries against this injustice were instrumental in introducing the Infant Custody Bill, which was finally carried in 1839. In 1855 she was again involved in a lawsuit because her husband not only refused to pay her allowance but demanded the proceeds of her books. Her eloquent letters of protest to Queen Victoria (English Laws for Women in the Nineteenth Century, 1854; A Letter to the Queen on Lord Chancellor Cranworth's Marriage and Divorce Bill, 1857) had great influence on the Marriage and Divorce Act of 1857, which abolished some of the inequities to which married women were subject.

      She published powerful volumes of verse on social problems: A Voice from the Factories (1836) and The Child of the Islands (1845). She also wrote several novels, two of which, Stuart of Dunleath (1851) and Lost and Saved (1863), are based on her own experience of domestic misery. She is said to have been the model for the heroine of George Meredith's novel Diana of the Crossways (1885). After her husband's death in 1875, she married Sir William Stirling-Maxwell.

Additional Reading
Alice Acland, Caroline Norton (1948); Alan Chedzoy, A Scandalous Woman: The Story of Caroline Norton (1992).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Norton, Caroline — (1808 1877) (Pseudonym, Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Sheridan).    Born in London, the daughter of Thomas Sheridan (see entry), her literary career took off in 1829 with The Sorrows of Rosalie: A Tale, with Other Poems. The fact that the work was… …   British and Irish poets

  • Norton, Caroline Elizabeth Sarah (Sheridan) — (1808 1877)    Grand daughter of Richard Brinsley S. (q.v.), m. in 1827 the Hon. G.C. Norton, a union which turned out most unhappy, and ended in a separation. Her first book, The Sorrows of Rosalie (1829), was well received. The Undying One… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • Caroline Norton — by Sir George Hayter in 1832 Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton (22 March 1808 – 15 June 1877) was a famous British society beauty, feminist, social reformer, and author of the early and mid nineteenth century …   Wikipedia

  • Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton — Caroline Norton Caroline Norton, détail d un portrait par Frank Stone, vers 1845 Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton (22 mars 1808 – 15 juin 1877) est une pamphlétaire, poétesse, écrivain …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Caroline Sheridan Norton — Caroline Norton Caroline Norton, détail d un portrait par Frank Stone, vers 1845 Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton (22 mars 1808 – 15 juin 1877) est une pamphlétaire, poétesse, écrivain …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Caroline Norton — Caroline Norton, détail d un portrait par Frank Stone, vers 1845 Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton (22 mars 1808 – 15 juin 1877) est une pamphlétaire, poétesse, écrivain, compositrice et …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Norton, Virginia —   City   Seal …   Wikipedia

  • Caroline County (Virginia) — Caroline County Courthouse Verwaltung …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Norton [2] — Norton, 1) Caroline Elizabeth Sarah, engl. Dichterin, geb. 1808, gest. 14. Juni 1877. Enkelin von Richard Brinsley Sheridan, machte sich schon in ihrem 17. Jahre durch das rührende byronische Idyll »Sorrows of Rosalie« (1829) bekannt, dem 1830… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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