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  • Location: Edinburgh, Ludlow, London

Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace

Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace

Why a Booktrail?

1850: The story behind one of the most notorious divorce cases of the nineteenth century,

  • ISBN: 978-1408831243
  • Genre: Biography/memoirs, Historical, Non-Fiction

What you need to know before your trail

When the married Isabella Robinson was introduced to the dashing Edward Lane at a party in 1850, she was utterly enchanted. He was ‘fascinating’, she told her diary, before chastising herself for being so susceptible to a man’s charms. But a wish had taken hold of her, and she was to find it hard to shake…

In one of the most notorious divorce cases of the nineteenth century, Isabella Robinson’s scandalous secrets were exposed to the world. Kate Summerscale brings vividly to life a frustrated Victorian wife’s longing for passion and learning, companionship and love, in a society clinging to rigid ideas about marriage and female sexuality.

Travel Guide

Victorian society

The society at the time of the events in this book was a very unequal and unbalanced one. Rich men could do what they wanted to whilst women had to grin and bear it it would seem. Where if a woman wanted to divorce, she was cast aside by society and all her friends, where if she kept a diary and wrote down her thoughts that must mean scandal right there! Just like in modern day stories, snippets of her diary end up in the papers and misinterpreted create even more rumours and lies.

The big names of their day play a part in the background of the story –  Darwin for example is mentioned for having visited the “spa establishment” run by Isabella’s man. The era of sex and not talking about sex was what seemed to be the norm.

Marriage at that time was about money, children and property. Children had to be born in wedlock and heirs were required for houses etc to be passed on. No  – one could afford to divorce even i fit had been deemed acceptable. So when a woman belonging to an upper middle class family married a much older man with  children from a first marriage was certainly not the norm. And those who bucked the norm were frowned upon and suspected of all kinds.


Streetview Maps

A) Edinburgh - Lady Drysdale's house
E) London - Mr Robinson' s childhood home

Booktrail Boarding Pass Information: Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace

Author/ Guide: Kate Summerscale   Destination: London, Edinburgh Departure Time:  1850

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