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.
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 Tree lifts the lid on the shocking history of women under British law – and what it means for women today.
29 February 2024 | HB | 9780008559571 | £20
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