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The Walnut Tree : Women, Violence and the Law – a Hidden History

The Walnut Tree : Women, Violence and the Law – a Hidden History by Kate Morgan

Author: Kate Morgan

£20.00

Available on backorder

Format:Hardback

Page Count:320

Date Published:29 Feb 2024

ISBN:9780008559571

Synopsis

A devastating work of non-fiction that reveals a hidden history of women, violence and the law.

A woman, a dog and a walnut tree, the more they are beaten, the better they’ll be.’

So went the proverb quoted by a prominent MP in the Houses of Parliament in 1853. His words – intended ironically in a debate about a rise in attacks on women – summed up the prevailing attitude of the day, in which violence against women was waved away as a part and parcel of modern living – a chilling seam of misogyny that had polluted both parliament and the law. But were things about to change?

In this vivid and essential work of historical non-fiction, Kate Morgan explores the legal campaigns, test cases and individual injustices of the Victorian and Edwardian eras which fundamentally re-shaped the status of women under British law. These are seen through the untold stories of women whose cases became cornerstones of our modern legal system and shine a light on the historical inequalities of the law.

We hear of the uniquely abusive marriage which culminated in the dramatic story of the ‘Clitheroe wife abduction’; of the domestic tragedies which changed the law on domestic violence; the controversies surrounding the Contagious Diseases Act and the women who campaigned to abolish it; and the real courtroom stories behind notorious murder cases such as the ‘Camden Town Murder’.

Exploring the 19th- and early 20th Century legal history that influenced the modern-day stances on issues such as domestic abuse, sexual violence and divorce, The Walnut Treelifts the lid on the shocking history of women under British law – and what it means for women today.

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