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Kate Morgan - The Walnut Tree: Women, Violence and the Law | Wednesday 28 February, 6.30pm

Kate Morgan - The Walnut Tree: Women, Violence and the Law | Wednesday 28 February, 6.30pm

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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 Treelifts the lid on the shocking history of women under British law – and what it means for women today.

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Kate Morgan is a writer and former solicitor. She worked as a senior in-house lawyer in the water industry for most of her legal career. Long fascinated with the darker side of the law, her writing focuses on British legal history and the stories behind the important cases that have shaped the law over the centuries.

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