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Encyclopedia > Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton

Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton (Sheridan) (1808 - 1877), grand_daughter of Richard Brinsley Sarah, married 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 (1830), a romance founded upon the legend of the Wandering Jew, followed, and other novels were Stuart of Dunleath (1851), Lost and Saved (1863), and Old Sir Douglas (1867). The unhappiness of her married life led her to interest herself in the amelioration of the laws regarding the social condition and the separate property of women and the wrongs of children, and her poems, A Voice from the Factories (1836), and The Child of the Islands (1845), had as an object the furtherance of her views on these subjects. Her efforts were largely successful in bringing about the needed legislation. In 1877 Mrs. Norton married Sir W. Stirling Maxwell.

This article is originally from A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature.

Norton was pro-life like many early feminists. She once wrote about abortion for Woodhull's and Claffin's Weekly, the feminist newsletter of Victoria Woodhull in 1870 and said:

"Child murderers practice their profession without let or hindrance, and open infant butcheries unquestioned...Is there no remedy for all this ante-natal child murder?...Perhaps there will come a time when...an unmarried mother will not be despised because of her motherhood...and when the right of the unborn to be born will not be denied or interfered with."

  Results from FactBites:
BBC - History - Caroline Norton (1808 - 1877) (343 words)
Caroline Sheridan was born in London on 22 March 1808 into a grand but impoverished family.
Norton refused Caroline access to her three children and her protests were instrumental in the passing of the Infant Custody Bill of 1839.
Caroline's efforts were influential in the passing of the Marriage and Divorce Act of 1857.
  More results at FactBites »



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