The Case of the Married Woman

with Lady Antonia Fraser

with Lady Antonia Fraser

Hampton Court Palace will be closed for filming from Monday 20 September to Friday 24 September.


24 May 2021



Great Hall

Ticketing Information

Price: £22.50 for members, £25.00 for non-members.

Refreshments on arrival (masks should be worn during the talk)

In order to meet government guidelines, tickets will be sold to household groups only and face coverings must be worn indoors.

Separate ticket (advance booking required)

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Taking place in the Great Hall at Hampton Court Palace, this exclusive event sees award-winning historian Lady Antonia Fraser, discuss her new biography on Caroline Norton, once a grace and favour resident at Hampton Court Palace, with Rupert Gavin, chair of Historic Royal Palaces. 'The Case of the Married Woman' brilliantly portrays a woman, at once courageous and compassionate, who refused to be curbed by the personal and political constraints of her time.

A nineteenth century heroine who wanted justice for women

Caroline Norton dazzled nineteenth-century society with her vivacity and intelligence. After her marriage in 1828 to the MP George Norton, she continued to attract friends and admirers to her salon in Westminster, which included the young Disraeli. Most prominent among her admirers was the widowed Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne. Racked with jealousy, George Norton took the Prime Minister to court, suing him for damages on account of his ‘Criminal Conversation’ (adultery) with Caroline.

A dramatic trial followed which prompted Caroline to channel her energies in an area of much-needed reform: the rights of a married woman and specifically those of a mother. Over the next few years she campaigned tirelessly, achieving her first landmark victory with the Infant Custody Act of 1839.


Antonia Fraser is the author of many widely acclaimed historical works which have been international bestsellers. She was awarded the Medlicott Medal by the Historical Association in 2000 and was made a DBE in 2011 for services to literature. 

Previous books include Mary Queen Of Scots, King Charles II, The Weaker Vessel: Woman's Lot in Seventeenth-Century England which won the Wolfson History Prize, Marie Antoinette: The Journey, Perilous Question: The Drama of The Great Reform Bill 1832 and The King and The Catholics: The Fight For Rights 1829. Must You Go?, a memoir of her life with Harold Pinter, was published in 2010 and My History: A Memoir of Growing Up in 2015. She lives in London.

Front cover illustration of Caroline Norton in a 19th century white dress.
Diana, Princess of Wales in her ivory wedding dress
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